Not too long ago, I wrote an article about why I thought stocksquest.com is lame. It would appear that a lot of people want to cheat at stocksquest's market simulation, so I'm going to describe in depth, a very simple way to make tons of money at stocksquest.
(Note, just reading the indented sections will give you the bare minimum you need to know to beat stocksquest.)
Stocksquest doesn't update their stock prices in real time. That is, there is a noticeable lag between the real stock prices and prices displayed on the stocksquest website. If you're using stocksquest then you're probably using Yahoo Finance to track prices, and like most stock price trackers, Yahoo Finance is behind the real time stock prices by about fifteen minutes. But stocksquest is at least thirty minutes behind the real time stock prices. Which means that you can buy stocks in stocksquest and know that they'll go up in price in a very short amount of time, because you've already seen them go up in Yahoo Finance (or whatever site you use for tracking prices).
Now, most teachers already know of this flaw in stocksquest and so they'll require that you hold a stock for a certain amount of time before selling it. The idea is, is that a volatile stock that jumps in price in the space of ten minutes probably isn't going to stay high till the next day. Thus, by enforcing a minimum holding period, the ability to "know the future" becomes useless.
But there is another way to predict the future.
There is something called after market and premarket trading, which is essentially a short period of time before and after the market closes when people can trade (duh). Prices during after hours trading can jump substantially, making it very dangerous, which is why most people don't engage in it. The funny thing is, is that stocksquest doesn't update their prices to the after hours prices. Which means, that whatever happens during the after and premarket, is completely invisible to stocksquest. Right now, you may be noticing a way to exploit this flaw, but allow me to elaborate on my thoughts.
It is not uncommon for companies to reveal some very important information after the market closes, thus causing the stock price in the after hours trading to jump. Things like news of an acquisition, amazing test results on a cancer drug, or a great new product that is going to change the industry can cause a company's stock to skyrocket and will also ensure that the stock will stay high for a decent amount of time. Some stocks may just tend to be very voltaile and will jump in price and fall back down immediately after. But as I said, if the company releases this news after the market closes, the change in stock prices remains invisible to stocksquest. So here comes the cheat:
Use a stock screener (like marketwatch.com, the NASDAQ website will also work) that shows which stocks had the highest percent gains in the after market. Don't get greedy and automatically buy the stock on the top of the list, because that stock may very well drop in price as soon as the market opens. Check to see if there was a good reason that the stock jumped in price. What did the company say or do that made their stock jump? Again, things like company buyouts or a great new product release will ensure the stock stays high for a decent amount of time. Now, just check your stock screener right before the market opens, find a couple of good stocks (make sure to check the news behind these companies) and buy them before the market opens. (premarket hours are 8:00-9:30AM EST, after market hours are 4:00-6:30PM EST)
Here's a picture from (I think) Yahoo Finance, showing the after market price for Citigroup.
Obviously, this won't work at all in real life, but it works amazingly well in the stocksquest simulator. Check out these rankings from my class in high school, and you will notice that I am by far the top of my class (note that we all started with $10,000).
There is however, one thing that I cannot emphasize enough,
DO NOT GET GREEDY.
Yes, this strategy works quite well. But it is reliant on you checking the news. and being smart. This is not like a cheat code you punch in; it requires a little more work then that. So don't just pick the top gainer off the top of the list, be smart!
If, you're reading this article and something doesn't make sense, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to clarify (EDIT: This article is now quite old and its years since I've even looked at Stocksquest, comments are perfectly acceptable and welcome but I cannot guarantee any useful help).