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

In the summer after eleventh grade, I was preparing for my standardized tests. Initially, I was discouraged because my scores were not improving. Consecutively taking practice tests was not going to help me, and I had to develop a new strategy if I wanted to improve. With trial and error, I realized that my mistakes were all similar in topic and reasoning.
I noticed that I was consistently having low scores in the reading section on the ACT. My time management and accuracy were areas of improvement. I decided that I would focus primarily on the reading section of the ACT. Whenever I got something wrong on the practice tests, I looked back at the question, figured out the reasoning behind the answer, and see why my answer was wrong. Finally, I made a strategy, so I would not repeat my mistakes. It was initially tedious to write notes about my mistakes; however, I eventually got in the habit of doing it. With time, I saw my scores improving significantly. My strategy for preparing worked in the end, and I received a 33 on the ACT.
For my tests in twelfth grade, I had been using this strategy for studying. In my two AP classes, I always check my homework answers, and I always reflect on how I should improve. Whenever I make a mistake, I redo the problems after seeing what I did wrong.
For improving any score or grade, reflection is crucial for success. However, the testing strategies that worked for me may not work for some people. I would advise everyone to try finding a method that works for them. However, if a student wants to find success and improve their test score, reflecting on what he or she did wrong on previous problems will help much more than any strategy.

Megha from Illinois
High School Senior
Geneva Community High School