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HELP! Disappointed by ACT score

Aerospace365Aerospace365 1 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2 New Member
I am a Junior. I took the ACT for my first time without studying and got a 22. I always thought I would do better. I have a 3.789 UW GPA. I have never gotten worse than an A- in any math or science class, and i am in advanced classes. I was shocked that my score was so low! I dint have time to finish any section on the test. I always had 5-15 questions that I randomly filled in answers for.
My scores were
I always saw myself majoring in Aerospace Engineering. The problem is I live in Wisconsin, and no schools offer that as a major. I was looking at University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Purdue in IN, and CalPoly in CA. I don't know if will be able to get into any of those schools now.
I am retaking the ACT in April, and actually studding. If I get at least a 26 would I be able to get into any of these schools?
edited February 2012
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Replies to: HELP! Disappointed by ACT score

  • lerkinlerkin 1426 replies19 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,445 Senior Member

    For UofM CSE even 26 is too low. You might get admitted to CLA, but probably not into CSE. I am not sure if you can get BA in Aerospace (if you are admitted to CLA). CSE, where BS of Aerospace engineering is offered is the most competitive college to get into at UofM.

    I think your best bet is to practice for ACT. Your unfamiliarity with the test might have been a problem. The fact that you could not finish points to it.

    Although getting 6 for an essay combined with low English score is an indicator to me that in this area you are not adequately prepared. I might be wrong though. If this is true for English, then your high grades might be result of inflation at your high school.

    When you say you take advanced classes, do you mean AP? If yes, did you take AP exam last year and what did you get? If you got 4 and 5, then your grades are not inflated and therefore you should do better at ACT after practicing. If your grades are inflated, you might have holes in your knowledge, which you have to identify and fill.

    Good luck.
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  • Aerospace365Aerospace365 1 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2 New Member
    My goal is a 29:) I am in cap classes because AP classes aren't offered until senior year. My English is awful, so i was not as surprise with that score, I expected a low 20. My math and science scores shocked me, I am in two sciences this year. I am also in Pre calc. I dont think my grades are inflated because my class rank is 24 of about 130.
    Thanks for your help!
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  • lerkinlerkin 1426 replies19 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,445 Senior Member

    I think I now understand your situation. When you mentioned advanced classes I applied my understanding of it. I did not realize you come from a small school. By the way, the fact that your rank is 24 does not mean that your school does not inflate grades (but I am not insisting that it does). Also, don't feel bad about your score. You really are at the disadvantage comparing to kids that attend bigger schools with many more resources. To compare, my son as a 9th grader is taking Honors Calculus at UofM and Music Theory AP at his high school. It does not mean he is super-gifted, it just means all these opportunities are available to him. Adcoms take this information into account and will expect lower scores from people from a school like yours.

    Let me give several suggestions how to improve your ACT score based on my experience with my son.

    1. In order to score well on science portion, you really don't need to know much about science. My son was able to score comparably to you in science when he was in 8th grade without having good science background. You need to be able to read graphs and have good reading comprehension. I suggest you google ACT science prep videos that are very helpful in explaining my point.

    2. Google Mike Barret psat/sat guide (available in pdf). It has a very helpful section on how to write high scoring essays (ignore other stuff in that guide). My son who can write a good essay if he puts a lot of effort into it, was unable to do so in short period of time prior to reading this guide. Follow the suggestions and practice with different essay prompts. One suggestion that is not in that guide is to end your essay with the zinger (because it is the last impression of your essay). Last year as an eight grader, my son was able to score 8 on his essay, while having run-off sentences and repeating himself throughout. I think that the only reason he was able to do so is because his essay ended with a very powerful sentence.

    3. In a such short period of time it is hard to cover the gaps, so my suggestion is to practice! I am not sure when your spring break is coming up, but I suggest you dedicate it to ACT practice. Take as many practice tests as you can. There are pdfs available on the web with previous years ACT booklets.

    4. If you don't increase your score enough in April, consider re-taking ACT the third time on September 8th. It will give you plenty of time to get updated ACT scores for rolling admission at UofM (where you will get great tuition rate) or other colleges. If you do decide to retake the test, consider filling your knowledge gaps over the summer (perhaps with the tutor if your parents can afford it).

    5. I am somewhat surprised that as Pre-calc student you scored only 25 on your math test. When you practice, you should analyze if you consistently make mistakes in the same math area/type of problems and address that issue.
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