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

The best way to study for a test is to relax and practice, practice, practice! I spent over six months studying for my SAT and utilized a number of different methods. The first method I used was by buying a test preparation book and taking practice exams. Then, once I received my PSAT test score, I imputed the information and signed up for a free test program called Khan Academy. This program used my actual test scores in order to focus my attention towards problematic areas. This helped my raise my initial score by about forty points.

Over the summer, I took a test preparation course. Because I had already completed online work, I took this class in person. Over eight weeks I was able to take multiple full practice exams and attend lectures which helped me learn test taking strategies. This course helped me raise my grade by another forty points but it still wasn't high enough for the schools I wanted to attend. Since I was little, I have always had a hard time with standardized tests. I switched over to the ACT and used my test prep company's online course as well as my private math tutor. My ACT score creeped higher and higher every time I took the exam.

Finally, the week before my last ACT exam (my sixth standardized test overall) I took the free SAT exam offered by my school. I had committed to only reporting my ACT scores. My mom advised me to take the SAT in order to cover the math portion I would encounter the following week. No pressure.

Taking the pressure off of myself was the best thing I could have ever done. My final test score was almost 250 points higher than my initial test score. The combination of all of these tactics is critical in the proper test preparation practices.

LAILA from California
High School Senior