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ACT Help, 22 to 30? Possible?

derozanderozan Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
I'm a high school senior. So I have taken the ACT 3 times and have got terrible scores! I want to go to a decent college! I got a 21, 22, 22. The third time I took it was after summer break. I worked hard during summer break, but a few weeks before the test, and school, I spent more time on my summer homework and had 3 hours of sleep before that test!

So when I told my counselor that I wanted to take the ACT one more time, he told me "it is a waste of money and you might not get a good score, or even improve" I was really hurt, because I knew I was capable of getting a 30! And then, he told me "If I were to put a bet, with you having a 22, you will not be able to get a 30". I really need some help from anyone out there to share their study tips! My GPA is only a 3.47 so I believe the ACT will be the only thing I can do good one, to get into the college of my dreams. College application deadlines are nearing and I need help! Thank you!!!

Replies to: ACT Help, 22 to 30? Possible?

  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 Registered User Posts: 1,581 Senior Member
    There are many threads on here with folks having trouble with ACT when they made a big jump. 21, 22, 22, then 30 would definitely flag your test.

    What are you scoring on practice exams? I think 25 is a more realistic goal.
  • derozanderozan Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Before my third real test, I was scoring 26-27 on practice tests, but then totally lost touch. Now I have started again and am getting 24-25 as of now.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 1,034 Senior Member
    I thought your counselor is mean LOL.
    I do not know whether it is possible, it depends on what you knew. What are your subscores? do you know what your weaknesses are? running out of time? or lack of content knowledge?
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 32,478 Senior Member
    Most students improve by one point . An 8-point increase is indeed impossible or at least ver, very,very unlikely.
    You can probably aim for 24-25.

    Right now, your college list should be for colleges where 3.47/22 is average or above average, plus test optional schools.
    If your score gets to a 24-25 you can add a couple colleges where 24-25 is average.

    What's your budget?
  • hannuhyluhannuhylu Registered User Posts: 290 Junior Member
    edited October 2017
    Tons of prep! My daughter was getting mid 30's practice tests, but scored a 29C. I have heard the opposite happen as well.

    It can be done, but not without obscene amounts of prep and imo you would need a tutor. With your GPA and score what is wrong with going to your state flagship?

    Obscen prep = 6 hours a week for 15 weeks practice test every 2 weeks.

    We live in Texas for instance and both of my older kids would go to Texas State and be fine with it. You can find great academics at almost any college. If UG isn't your terminal degree it doesn't really matter anyway.
  • derozanderozan Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    I was looking for getting into University of Illinois UC, and they require a 27-33 and I have the right GPA for it. That’s my first choice
  • derozanderozan Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Thank you all for the help! Im taking the oct 28 act and if I dont get the score i want, i will take one in december
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 32,478 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    What are your backup plans?
    What major are you considering?
    3.47 is low for UIUC.
    If you do get a 25, you could apply DGS, ACES, or Education. Are those tour majors of interest?
    What are your matches and safeties?
    Are you applying to test optional universities?
    (For example, Drake, Illinois college, Beloit, Earlham...)
  • derozanderozan Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    As of now, I am thinking about CS and astronomy major which falls in the college of liberal arts and sciences. My GPA and ACT scores are low for the CS in the college of engineering so I thought about CS and astronomy which requires a 3.37-3.89 and 27-33
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 32,478 Senior Member
    I don't think you have a good grasp of how highly ranked and competitive UIUC is.
    This is not a realistic reach. Your GPA is low for UIUC and going from a 22 to a 25 would already be superb, so 27 is not to be counted on... and with the 3.47 weighting you down. CS is the most competitive major at UIUC, even in CLA -
    their range is 27-33, GPA is 3.4-3.9 (roughly) and the CS majors in CLA are likely to be at the upper range of that (32+, 3.8+). In addition, your curriculum rigor is not very good - UIUC expects 5 academic classes per year, all honors of AP if you school offers these. Consider it a super reach, because you're not really within their range. If you like UIUC over the CS major, then apply to ACES, DGS, or Education - you won't be able to go to CS from these and even these are reaches but you're be more likely to get in and you'll have a UIUC degree.
    Most importantly, don't focus on UIUC: make a good list with two safeties, three matches, and two-three reachable reaches.
    Look into Drake (high match), Illinois college (match), Beloit (high match), Earlham (high match), perhaps applying without test scores.
    Look at Bradley (reach), Elmhurst (match), Loyola Chicago (reach), Millikin (low match), Northern Illinois (safety), UI Springfield (low match), Monmouth (safety), Blackburn (safety), Illinois State (low match), McKendree (safety), Aurora (safety), SIU Edwardsville (low match), SIU Carbondale (match). You can also look at Wisconsin, Missouri, and Iowa.
    Run the NPC on all of these, and write down the names of affordable colleges.
    If you wish, you can ask adults here about what they know regarding the colleges that are affordable.
    Make sure you have two safeties and three matches and that they're all affordable.
  • GloriaVaughnGloriaVaughn Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    I agree with above posters that with your current stats, UIUC is a stretch. You'd have to have really good extracurriculars and probably a good reason for your numbers being middle-of-the-road.

    At this point, I think your problem is putting too much pressure on yourself and psych sabotaging. Think of it this way: your 22 is banked, so there's nowhere to go but up. For math, work backwards by plugging the answers back into the equations if you're not sure. Science is really nothing but knowing how to read a lab report, so review the different types of charts. Skim the questions before reading the passages on reading; it'll save you time. I can't tell you much for English except to justify your answers to yourself, anything else that would help you don't have time for. Don't rush, but if you start to run out of time, take a stab at every question. Guessing doesn't hurt you on ACT, just SAT.
  • saraheliza862saraheliza862 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Have you ever taken the PSAT or any practice SATs? For a lot of people, it's a question of one test being a better fit than the other. I have a friend who struggled for 1350 on her SAT but scored a 35 ACT on her first try. You could very well be the opposite! The SAT gives a lot more time and does not include the science section that hurts many people's ACT composite. It could be worth a shot.
  • derozanderozan Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Hi everyone. Thanks for all the help!
    So a lot of people recommended taking the SAT over the ACT but I feel like its too late. I am a high school senior and need to apply to colleges soon. And I'm pretty familiar with the ACT at this point.

    So the sections I struggle the most on are the Reading and a little of math. I find English and science comparably easy.
    Can anyone tell their strategies for ACT reading? I sometimes read the entire passage, and then answer the questions. Other times, I tried just going straight to the questions. It really makes me mad as I sometimes get the passage right with reading the passage, and sometimes do better without reading it first and going straight to the questions.

    For math, the last 20 questions always get me. The math gets so confusing. I remember all the formulas but I dont know what a question asks sometimes.

    Any help would be appreciated!
  • derozanderozan Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    I'm also considering taking the SAT, maybe just give it one shot to see if I do better on that.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 1,034 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    google prepscholar on how to improve a low ACT Math scores. You can see that you do not need to aim at getting all the Math problems correct. if you get around 40 to 42 questions right, you stand a chance to get around 26 on Math...
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