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While general discussion about the ACT test is allowed by ACT, discussion of test questions may violate your agreement with ACT. Please be thoughtful in your posts and replies.

Help me decide how to prep for future ACT test. Please?

xxemilyliangxxemilyliang Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
edited February 2015 in ACT Preparation
I am current a High school junior. I have taken the ACT once in October of 2014. I am planning to take it again in April of 2015. I am planning to take it again at the beginning of senior year, if necessary.

I used the red book before I took the first ACT and I got around a 26-28 on those practice test .... so i'm curious as to why I performed so poorly on the real thing :/.

My test scores for my October Test was the following
Composite - 24, English - 25, Mathematics - 25 Reading - 23, Science - 21 , Combined English/Writing - 22, Writing - 06

Any suggestions on prep books or anything prep that I can do during the next two months in order to get a 30? Or is there no hope for me :/. Please help me :O. Thanks in advance :)

Replies to: Help me decide how to prep for future ACT test. Please?

  • southernbelle16southernbelle16 Registered User Posts: 667 Member
    It's nerves and the actual atmosphere most likely. People tend to get higher scores on SAT and ACT practice tests, but when they get in there to take the real thing that is not the case. Are you planning on taking the SAT at all? For prep books for the ACT I used:

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-real-act-prep-guide-act-inc/1104693454?ean=9780768934403
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/act-elite-36-princeton-review/1119740145?ean=9780804125550

    I invested tons more in SAT prep books. However, I think the ones above are really good! Raising to a 30 might be tricky. Since you're a junior, you still have time to take it 1 or 2 more times during senior year. Make sure you're taking tons of practice tests and following a dedicated study schedule. You also want to analyze each question, whether you got it right or wrong. Focus on your weaker subjects on the test a little more, but don't neglect your English and Math. Those seem to be your strongest suits. As for science, it's all about interpreting data.
  • HereToHelpYouHereToHelpYou Registered User Posts: 855 Member
    The best way to study for the ACT is to practice with REAL ACT tests. There are 5 tests in the Red ACT Book, 3rd Edition. ACT released several tests in booklet form.

    Time each practice session to simulate the real test.

    English 75 questions in 45 min.
    Math 60 questions in 60 min.
    Reading 40 questions in 35 min.
    Science 40 questions in 35 min

    Score your test and review only what you got wrong after each practice session.

    I suggest the following schedule:

    Take 1 section each school night/with review for 4 nights/week.
    Twice per month on a Saturday or Sunday take a full ACT test/with review.
  • xxemilyliangxxemilyliang Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    edited February 2015
    @southernbelle16‌ Thank you so much for the advice :). I am not sure whether I should take the SAT or not. Do you think taking the ACT two - three times and the SAT once will make my application look bad to colleges?
  • xxemilyliangxxemilyliang Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    @HereToHelpYou‌ Thank you so much for the advice :). Since my week sections were in reading and science do you think I should focus on those or do you think there is room for improvement in all sections?
  • southernbelle16southernbelle16 Registered User Posts: 667 Member
    It depends on the college. Not all colleges require you to send your whole testing record, but some do. If I were you I would take the SAT at least once. If you hate it, then you can continue just taking the ACT. Colleges look at them equally.
  • xxemilyliangxxemilyliang Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    @southernbelle16‌ oh okay :). I mean I've taken practice SAT test from test prep books and the PSAT and I've gotten 1600-1700. Is that any better than a 24 on the ACT? I'm planning to only apply to only UC's. What's your opinion on that?
  • southernbelle16southernbelle16 Registered User Posts: 667 Member
    It's about equal. You need way higher scores in both though for UC's. I'd say you'd want to aim for at least a 1900 on the SAT and 31 on the ACT. Very competitive schools.
  • xxemilyliangxxemilyliang Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    @southernbelle16 So you didn't' think it matters which on I focus more on its my preference? Really? I thought a 28-30 would be sufficient enough to get into like Davis or Irvine. Those are like top on my list as of now. Dose it help that i have a 4.25 weighted GPA and a 3.94 unweighted GPA. And I'm also a club president of a club and member of 2 other clubs, which offers a lot of volunteer opportunities that I take?
  • southernbelle16southernbelle16 Registered User Posts: 667 Member
    The average varies between 29, 30, 31. However, you want to make yourself the most competitive applicant you can be. Just don't aim to get a 30 because other people did. Aim to get a 35 or 36 because you want to edge the competition out. Obviously, test scores do not mean everything. You have a good GPA and E.Cs. I guess what I'm trying to say is, go the extra mile. That's the average. There are always people who have been accepted with higher and lower test scores.
  • xxemilyliangxxemilyliang Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    @southernbelle16‌ Very true :). Thanks for the advice. :)
  • southernbelle16southernbelle16 Registered User Posts: 667 Member
    That is the advice I took for myself. I passed the average SAT and ACT. I picked up a few more advanced prep books and got myself into a better position than just settling for the average.
  • dancegirl98dancegirl98 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    Hi! I'm a junior too and I just took the ACT in February. Our essay scores haven't come back yet, but I got a 34 composite score. If I were you, I would invest in the Real ACT Prep Guide by Peterson's. It's the best book I've seen because it has 5 real practice tests (by the makers of the ACT) and answers and explanations for all of the questions. I took a practice test and did alright on it the first time I ever saw the ACT. In the next two months, my tutor helped me with strategies for the ACT. However, I really had to work at each section individually before I got a hang of the test and saw patterns in the language and questions.
    Getting over a 30 isn't too hard if you concentrate and really analyze all your mistakes thoroughly. I think analyzing what I did wrong helped me the most to get over a 30. Good luck to you!
  • xxemilyliangxxemilyliang Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    edited February 2015
    @dancegirl98 Oh okay :). I just got my hands on the real ACT prep guide and i'm definitely planing on look through all the explanations :) Thanks. I really hope its not to late to start improving my score :O
This discussion has been closed.