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Any tips or tricks for retaking ACT?

avocadofriesavocadofries 13 replies4 threads Junior Member
For some reason, I just can't seem to break the 33 threshold. (I guess there is a reason, but I don't know how I can improve). Does anyone have tips or tricks in studying? I've been self studying since I really just don't have the money to pay for a tutor or classes. My scores have been 35/36 English, 32/34 Reading, 34 Math, 31 Science. It's mainly the science portion that drags my score down.
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Replies to: Any tips or tricks for retaking ACT?

  • merc81merc81 10830 replies173 threads Senior Member
    Take note of your superscore (34). For colleges that evaluate applicants with this method, your current testing results appear to be superb.
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  • avocadofriesavocadofries 13 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Thank you! I understand that my superscore is in the highest test score bucket, and I'd be set for the schools that superscored. However, I'd like to get a higher composite for my state schools that don't superscore superscore (cheaper+closer).
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 266 replies6 threads Junior Member
    A common strategy for the ACT science section is to skip reading the paragraph and go directly to the graphs and question and refer to the paragraph if necessary. As you know, one is allotted about 1 min per question in the ACT science, thus, speed (and accuracy :)) is important.

    Do you practice with online tests only? If so, then try practicing a few times with physical copies of the test in a quiet room (library or school, not at home) and time yourself to help with performing optimally under almost real test condition. Good luck, you can do it.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2266 replies47 threads Senior Member
    The SAT doesn't *have* a science section. If I were you, I'd give the SAT a try rather than trying to milk ACT prep past the point of diminishing returns.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9723 replies521 threads Senior Member
    I actually think you can try the ACT once more. Your subsection scores show you have the ability. Your score is noticeably dragged down by science. Go right to the questions first, and don’t look at anything until you need to. Skim as needed, looking for key words in questions that force you to look at the passage. The only one you might want to read is the conflicting viewpoints, but even then, you mostly just need to focus on the first couple of sentences of each scientist/student/researcher viewpoint.

    I believe you get a break right before science. Bring protein based snacks. Bring a drink. De-stress for a few minutes. Many people do poorly on science because it’s the last section and you’re tired and burned out. Also take a look at prep scholar blog. They have a concise summary of the only science you need to know for that portion of the test. I can’t link it here.

    Good luck, hope you do well.
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  • Prisoner9430Prisoner9430 20 replies7 threads Junior Member
    If you know it's science that keeps dragging you down, focus your preparation on the science section. Keep in mind that the ACT rounds your composite score up, so if you got the same scores on the other areas (35 english, 33 reading, 34 math) you'd only need a 32 science to get your composite to a 33.5, which ACT would round up to a 34.
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  • deneuralyzerdeneuralyzer 99 replies13 threads Junior Member
    One science strategy that worked for me was doing the practice sets in the Barron's ACT prep book, but with only half the recommended time. I started with a 31 on science too, but this method helped me improve my score substantially.
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  • avocadofriesavocadofries 13 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @Lindagaf Thank you! I'll look into the prepscholar tips. I usually jump straight into the questions, and when I did ACT practice tests, my science scores were very good (34-36), but when I take the actual thing my science is what drags me down (my strongest subject in school is science because I've taken Chem, Bio, physics, AP Chem, and am workingon AP Bio right now)
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  • avocadofriesavocadofries 13 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @aquapt I actually have taken full length SAT practice tests, but the reading potions are too difficult for my brain to comprehend (since they're analysis questions). I've never scored abouve a 1200 on my practice SAT's, although i did get at 1470 on my PSAT (I really suprised myself, but I think i was so close to giving up that I stopped over analyzing everything)
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  • buckybarnesxbuckybarnesx 120 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Like what others have said, going straight to the questions without looking at the graphs is what helps the most. Aside from prep scholar, I also recommend looking at SuperTutorTV's ACT Science videos. I did both of these and raised my science score by 6 points for reference :)
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