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

One of the best study strategies I have used to study for exams is to read my notes and powerpoints over and over again to memorize them. By scanning this information into my brain, I can have a literal picture of my notes in my head. If I have trouble on a question, I can sometimes remember the picture of my note page which has the information on it. For example, if I remember that my notes on Richard Nixon and Watergate are on the page of my notebook right after my page on the Vietnam War, I can remember what that page looks like, and maybe get a “spark” of memory that helps me with a question on Watergate. I can do the same with Powerpoint slides. Utilizing my photographic memory by memorizing what my notes and powerpoints look like has helped me succeed on my exams and has certainly helped me earn my 4.0 GPA.
For more standardized tests like the ACT, I have found that the best way to study is to constantly take practice tests to fine tune your strategy. If you had all the time in the world to take a test like the ACT or SAT, you could get all the questions right. However, since there are strict time limits on these tests, you must approach them with a pinpoint strategy to succeed. To find your best strategy, you need to take practice tests. By studying ACT test-taking strategies, practicing different strategies on timed subject tests, and finding what strategies were best for me, I was able to raise my ACT score from a 24, to a 30, and finally to a 33. One of my most important strategies going into the test was not getting behind on time. I figured out how fast I needed to go on each section of the test so I could work on all the questions. In the weeks prior to the third time I took the ACT (when I scored a 33), I took at least one timed subject test a day. I also took two full ACT practice tests with time limits as well. This rigorous mode of study helped me raise my ACT score 9 points and helped me get into the school I wanted to attend.

Josh from Ohio
High School Senior