Recently Mike Downs, Class of 2017 was asked to share what it takes to achieve National Merit Finalist status. This is his story.
“Accomplishing a large and improbable feat requires motivation, dedication, time and a visible success point. I was fortunate enough to be motivated by my eighth grade teacher and other adults around me who told me that I could do something great if I worked for it. I decided that I wanted to become a National Merit Finalist just like my Dad, but I had no idea how to do it. I received tutoring in test taking and English to prepare myself for the test. I spent countless hours learning grammar rules and memorizing vocabulary words. I took many practice tests to hone my craft of test taking and see where I could improve. Test taking is similar to anything you want to do in life; the more you practice it, the better you are going to be at it. Something I could not always provide for myself was support and resources, but God blessed me with an invaluable resource.
Madison Academy helped me to accomplish my goal by providing me with resources to learning grow. Mr. Mosher helped me immensely with my math through all the years, which was my highest scoring section on the PSAT and SAT. The online study resources for subsequent required tests were integral to my success and I must vouch for using them to prepare. However, the unending support from everyone as I chased my dream and goal is really what made this accomplishment possible. Having love and support from others is the best way to keep yourself pursuing your aspirations.”