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Official Practice tests different from actual ACT?

actsat2400actsat2400 Posts: 401Registered User Member
edited November 2012 in ACT Preparation
I took the ACT in June and got a composite of 29
then took it in October and got a composite of 29, science dropped 3 points and math increased 1 otherwise everything else was the same

I took the June one WITHOUT any practice tests and I took the October one after FINISHING the red book and taking some old official practice tests.

I was averaging a 32 on the practice tests and now i got a 29 on this October ACT.

Are the official practice tests from the red book and previous years no longer the same as the ones they administer now?

I am very disappointed from my score since I had prepared so hard and had expected a 32 but finished a lower 29 then before.

Or is it that I was just having a bad day on test day??...
Post edited by actsat2400 on

Replies to: Official Practice tests different from actual ACT?

  • Resistance1Resistance1 Posts: 55Registered User Junior Member
    Well, some prep books are overly easy and give you higher scores than you'll actually receive.. Heck, I was getting 31-34 on the math section of the Mcgraw Hill prep books, but got a 27 on the real math section. Barron books are usually harder than the Official Prep book, and are better if you're going for a high score (in the 30's).

    The Official Prep book questions are easier than the real test in my opinion, the tests seem to have gotten harder as time has progressed. I got a 30 on the ACT this time around... 36 in english, 33 in reading, 27 in math, 24 in science (ouch). Didn't study much this time though.
  • actsat2400actsat2400 Posts: 401Registered User Member
    I was hoping that since it was the Official Prep Book, that it would be reasonable to expect my score to be around that, however it was completely the opposite.

    The score I got on this ACT is like the same as what I was getting on Barrons!! That should not be happening
  • PreplyPreply Posts: 260Registered User Junior Member
    When you were studying, did you take time to understand the questions you got wrong?

    Just out of curiosity, what type of questions are you usually getting wrong. If they are always the same 'type' of question, then it should be easy to improve your score next time. If they are always random questions you are answering incorrectly, you may be scoring at your optimal range (i.e., 29-32), and you just happened to score at the bottom of this range this time around.

    I have noticed that recently the test has been increasing in difficulty, ever so slightly, compared to the red book, and that may also be a factor in scoring.

    Just my two cents.
  • WasteOfUsernameWasteOfUsername Posts: 124Registered User Junior Member
    I feel your pain man

    I took the ACT in June and got a 35 on the Science section, but when I took it again in October, it went down to a 24

    If I would have gotten the 35 I wanted in Science, I would have gotten a 34

    But NOPE


    The point is, tests differ

    You can not always expect the same outcome on every test, because every test differs (especially in Science)

    Just keep trying, and eventually (hopefully), you'll get your score
  • DreamKid1015DreamKid1015 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    Which one is easier the ACT or SAT?
  • JustCrownedJustCrowned Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    @DreamKid1015: It really is up to what you are best at. If you are good at analyzing and interpreting graphs (Science section), then you should probably take the ACT. If you aren't good at that and are good at vocabulary definitions and open-ended math questions then take the SAT. My personally preference is the ACT. I took it in Oct. and scored a 35 composite (after several practice tests). I've taken the SAT as well and haven't scored as well (2120 or about 32 ACT conversion) Fortunately, I'm through with standardized testing... Hope it helps and best of luck!
  • actsat2400actsat2400 Posts: 401Registered User Member
    @Preply see, the thing is that when I do the practice tests, I quickly realize my error after I am done checking the answers, but when I go to take the next test, I don't really remember the mistakes that I had made last time and I do it again.

    The thing is, I find it hard to find the "type of question" that I always get wrong. Like in the science section, going over the answer explanations doesn't really help since the next time I take a test, the science section is going to be completely different. So even if I do understand my mistakes I made in an English, Reading, or Science section, it doesn't help me on the next test since the questions are completely different.

    Only in math do I really realize my mistakes since those tend to repeat but it doesn't repeat for any other section.

    Could you tell me how I should find out what questions I tend to get wrong for the English, Reading, and Science section?

    Thanks
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