Rishav Aikat is a 2016 graduate of Model Laboratory School. He is currently studying at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. As of the 2015-2016 school year, McGill is ranked among the world’s top 30 institutions and is the number 1 major/research university in Canada for the 12th consecutive year. To say that this is a great achievement is an understatement.
However, Rishav didn’t make it to McGill out of luck. Rishav worked hard and studied harder to get where he is now. Rishav finished high school as a National Merit Finalist with an ACT score of 34. He also participated in two sports—soccer and track—and numerous clubs. Somehow, he still found the time to participate in tutoring and devote 3-5 hours per week studying for the ACT.
During his high school years, Rishav understood the importance of test scores and took both the ACT and SAT multiple times. He also took 1 practice test each week at home. In conjunction, Rishav utilized tutoring services and studied from test prep work books—his favorite is Barron’s.
Rishav identified several key factors in setting yourself up for success when it comes to standardized test prep. He found that you need to be in the correct mindset to study and retain information. You also need to believe in yourself and your capabilities. Lastly, he knows that a great support system is helpful in any situation, but particularly helpful when it comes to test prep, which isn’t always the most interesting of subjects.
Rishav leaves important advice for students. “Start early,” he says. It’s important to know where you start so you know where you need to be and what you need to do to get yourself there. Time management is key. Find the best balance between school work, extracurricular activities, study time, and personal time. “You will plateau,” says Rishav. If you reach that plateau, study extra hard, put in more time than normal and you will get past it. One thing Rishav says he wishes he knew before high school is how important standardized testing would be. He wants all students to be made aware of the importance of the ACT/SAT and how much that one test score could ultimately impact the rest of your life.
For Rishav, his test scores had a huge impact. Along with being recognized as a National Merit Finalist, which granted him a $2,500 scholarship, he was awarded a university scholarship from McGill University. He was also awarded a Key Club scholarship of $500.
Although it sounds cliché, Rishav’s advice is spot on. Start early, study hard, believe in yourself, study harder. These tests are the first step to the rest of your life.
Model Laboratory School
Graduating Class of 2016