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Should Parents Force ACT Retest When Big Merit Bucks are on the Line?

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Replies to: Should Parents Force ACT Retest When Big Merit Bucks are on the Line?

  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 4,107 Senior Member
    @hokiemama24 - When my own son was in your child's shoes, I just bought a test-prep book on Amazon (can't recall which one) and required my son to use it to practice, with an emphasis on the Science section. If there were any tricks to be learned, he may have picked up a few hints from the book, but primarily my goal was just to have him just familiarize himself with the test overall and with the Science section in particular. While he didn't practice as many hours as I'd wanted, he did put in maybe three hours/week for a month or more leading up to the test. I didn't micromanage the process at all, so I don't know exactly what he did, although I did tell him to take a couple complete timed tests since speed was critical. (I made sure that the book we bought included several complete tests with answers in the back.)

    When my son returned home on ACT day, I asked how the test had been. His reply was that the Science section was hard. I groaned since it had been my big idea for him to focus on it. And then he earned a perfect 36 on that section. "I thought you'd said it was tough," I told him. "It WAS," he insisted, "but only because I had to work especially fast on that section." So I felt vindicated after that since the practice apparently did pay off. And it didn't cost more than the price of the book!

  • TS0104TS0104 Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    I "forced" my son to do his last ACT sitting and it kind of backfired...he did worse (this was only a "backfire" because he had one school that required reporting of ALL test sittings...and this is rare I think only a handful of schools require all scores be sent).
    My advice would be if you are going to do it (and I agree with most people here that you have every right to), make sure that the reasons and stakes are well understood by the student, and that part of the deal requires prep and 100% effort on test day.
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