Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

I took the ACT test for the first time completely blind; I never studied or looked at the requirements of the exam. While I do not recommend this, this first sitting allowed me to get a feel for the testing room and exam without pressure to perform. This experience helped me realized the pacing and strategy needed for each section. When I got a less-than-desirable score on the science component, I spent extra time pacing myself on questions and making sure to underline keywords to expedite the process. I used paper tests for this, as I found it best to "study like I am going to perform", as my band instructor states. Furthermore, as a visual learner, I found it best to both rewrite problem questions and highlight important components of questions for review. I made sure to schedule ample time between my first and second ACT sitting to allow for adequate preparation without over-stressing. This way, I would have time to focus mainly on schoolwork while also preparing for the exams.
In my junior year, I took three AP exams: English Language, Biology, and US History, all of which required different test preparation. For Language, I rewrote notes and practice timed writings, focusing on my personal enemy: the DBQ. Biology found me focusing on the math component, and I spent extra time in practice justifying my answers for the Free-Response Questions. In US History, notecards were my best friends. I focused on one period at a time and dialed in on the details of one or two periods so I can best write about them in my essays.
The day before each exam, I ate healthily and studied throughout the day. Just before bed, I went over my weakest points of each subject and made sure to get plenty of sleep. For me, sleep is the most important--and often most overlooked--test preparation strategy. Our brains need that time to process what we have learned; plus, no one wants to fall asleep in the middle of an exam! Lastly, always remember: tests do not define your worth.

Kayli from West Virginia
High School Senior
PikeView High School