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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.

Can I raise my ACT score by 8 points?

WorryWarttWorryWartt Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited July 2013 in ACT Preparation
I took the practice ACT last year without any prep and got a 23 on it. I took it again this year and got a 24. I got..
24s-English and Science
23s-Reading and Math
and an 8 on the writing portion.

I was really disappointed with my scores, because I know i'm capable of a much higher score. I'm in all advanced classes at my school and I normally do well on tests. I think my major problem is that I'm not good with timed tests. I had to guess on about 8 questions for the english and reading due to running out of time. I also guessed on about 10 on the math, because I ran out of time and for the science I guessed on about 5 and had to leave 3 blank, because I ran out of time. Are these good scores since I had to guess on so many? What are some tips so that I can get through the sections with the amount of time we are given. I want to take it again in June and am prepping online and with Barron's. I hope to get at LEAST a 29.
Post edited by WorryWartt on

Replies to: Can I raise my ACT score by 8 points?

  • pennplease123pennplease123 Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    Honestly, if you are devoted to raising 8 points, I think you could do it. It WILL take a lot of work. If timing is honestly your worst aspect, then that is what you need to practice. You need to buy a book with practice tests, or go online and take practice tests (Sparknotes has some). I would say 1-2 months before the test, every Saturday (or Sunday), set a block of 4 hours, and take the test. If you do not have the 4 hour block, you can just do the separate section with the test-day allotted time. With these practices, you will get more used to the tests and the timing. You will also practice the different types of questions and be more confident on test day. I would recommend taking at least 4 practice tests.
    Good luck with your goal! Message me with any questions you still may have!
  • pennplease123pennplease123 Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    Even if you run out of time on a section, it is to your advantage to fill in the bubbles randomly because you do not get docked points for wrong answers. I would fill in the remaining questions with the same answer, pick a letter you like and stick with it. Again, good luck!
  • WorryWarttWorryWartt Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Thanks so much for you're reply, it gave me some confidence/motivation. But, were the scores I got pretty decent scores for how much I had to guess? I am just wondering, because I want to have an idea if the timing is why those scores were so average or if I got a lot wrong. thanks again!
  • LBlockLBlock Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    If you are certain that time is your biggest issue (and for many, many people, it is) then taking practice tests is the best thing you can to raise your score.

    Become familiar with the format of the ACT. The more familiar you are with the content and questions, the better off you will be. When you know what to expect, you will notice that you have much more time to actually answer questions than figure out what they're asking in the first place.

    I'll make up an ACT-like math problem to give you an example.

    If ab=6, then (ab + 2) - 6ab = ?

    Now, this question would be a lot simpler if I simply asked you to evaluate the expression (6 + 2) - 6*6, but the ACT will rarely ever give you a question that simple. The more you take practice tests, the more you will start to notice patterns in the questions, and hopefully, the quicker you will be at answering them. Quite often the problems are more complicated than necessary just to slow you down.

    If you find that you simply can't finish in time no matter how hard you try, try using a different strategy to answer the questions. For example, let's say on the Reading test you always begin by reading the passage in its entirety and then move on to the questions, but you never get past the third passage before you run out of time. It might be beneficial for you to try reading the questions first and then read the passage. Some people claim this will actually waste time, but for you, it might actually be your key to scoring a 30+ on the Reading test.

    You can do the same thing with every test on the ACT. Although knowing the material is important, strategy is a must. I struggled with the time as well for a long time, but eventually, by taking practice tests and figuring out the strategies that worked best for me, I was able to greatly improve my scores.

    Good luck!

    Edit: To answer your question about whether those scores are decent for how much you had to guess, I would say they are. You certainly have the capability for a 29+. It's also likely that you rushed through some of the easier content in an effort to finish and made at least a few careless mistakes. If you can get to the point where you can actually finish on time, then you will be much better off. After you are accustomed to the time, start cracking down on eliminating those careless mistakes.
  • katemorgannekatemorganne Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    YES, raising your ACT score is definitely possible. The first time I took it, I got a 24 - for the same reasons that you just listed. I spent way too much time on questions that were worth the same amount as much easier ones. On the english section, I only finished upwards of 60 questions, and guessed on the rest. That was the problem with each section, not finishing it! Then I took a few practice tests and learned how to pace myself. I took it in March this year, got my scores back and, voila, a 31! It does take effort though, but it sounds like you're determined.
  • JuB0B0JuB0B0 Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    I got a 21 on my first attempt and a 29 on my 4th. It's possible.
  • prefectprefect Registered User Posts: 1,281 Senior Member
    What do you mean by practice ACT? Do you mean the PLAN test or an actual ACT practice test? If it was not the PLAN, was it a real ACT test (i.e from the book that ACT publishes) or was it a practice test from a test prep company? If it was the PLAN, keep in mind that the PLAN is graded out of a maximum of 32, not 36. If it was a test from a test prep company, keep in mind that many of their tests are harder than the actual test so that your score may be low which will scare you into paying for test prep. Also, what year are you in school?
  • pennplease123pennplease123 Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    I think that a 23 or 24 is a perfectly decent score for what seems like some major timing problems (no offense). Like I said, timing can be fixed by practice, and I think that going up 7 or 8 points will be feasible. You did say that you left at LEAST 3 in every section to guess or blank, and that is majorly impacting your score. Assuming in the science section, that all 8 of the questions you guessed or left blank you got wrong, then that is already 8/40 wrong not mentioning stupid mistakes or other wrong answers. That is 20% already gone. With that being said, if you finish the section that could be a possible 7 or 8 point boost on your science score, which once you get in the high 20s early 30s scorewise, is a HUGE difference. Hope this helped!
  • WorryWarttWorryWartt Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I'm a Junior :)
  • johnk2011johnk2011 Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    "Can I raise my score 8 points?"
    That would be up to you. If you dedicate yourself enough, yes.
  • cookie937cookie937 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
  • CrazyJonasNerdCrazyJonasNerd Registered User Posts: 27 New Member

    How did you do that? My only problem is science please help me out!!! I have a 5.0 but my act is a 22!!!!
  • YUNGKHALIFA420YUNGKHALIFA420 Registered User Posts: 326 Member
    Yes you can. Practice tests 24/7
  • tigerashtigerash Registered User Posts: 590 Member
    yea timing was a huge problem of mine, until i practiced a lot, and i eventually jumped from a 29 to a 35 on the real act!
  • ahbigailahbigail Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Personally, the first time I ever took the ACT I received an 18. Now, however, a year and five tests later, I have a 28. It is absolutely do-able.
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