Any tips for going from 31 to 34?

I am pretty consistantly getting a 31 on the ACT. I really want to be closer to 33-34. My worst sections by far and reading and science. Both I Get 31 or less on usually, and my biggest issue with both is time. I sometimes don’t even finish with all the questions done.

Any tips on improving my score in a short amount of time? (A little over a month). I am willing to practice as much as a need, but I need a more effective study plan than taking tests and making the same mistakes…

My son went from a 26 to a 32 with an awesome coach. If you want her info, I can PM you. She does it over Zoom (she’s in Washington I believe). We thought she was very reasonably priced (probably paid for herself with the excellent merit he received with that score). She gave him a ton of tips and tricks. She uses real ACT tests to practice on and goes over every wrong answer with you. My S knew how to do most of the problems, but her tips helped him figure out what he was doing wrong. Usually they were silly mistakes but she helped him figure out how not to make them. She did not even bother with the questions he didn’t know how to set up (which were just a few math problems, really). She’s really great and she does a free consult.

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Hey OP. My DS made a quick dramatic jump on the science section of the ACT (from a 27 in a timed practice run to a 35 in a timed practice run one week later and made a 36 on the Actual Science test section a month after that). My DS saw that he ran short of time in practice so he looked for ways to decipher the graphs in the Science section quicker and he found that looking at the graphs 1st before looking at the questions tied to the graphs helped him greatly with both his speed and accuracy on the Science section. Good Luck to you…

While I don’t usually think that coaching is very helpful, in your case, I would definitely recommend it. Looking at the rest of your profile, your main problem seems to be in test taking. Your GPA indicates that you do have mastery in the test-subjects, so getting some training in translating that into ACT scores which reflect your mastery of the subjects would be very helpful.

HOWEVER. This year most colleges are test-optional, and, aside from your ACT, which is “merely” above average, the rest of your profile is pretty good. So I’m not sure whether it is a good use of your time to put all that much effort into a factor which will have little weight in college decisions this year.

I would recommend instead that you focus on maintaining your 4.0 GPA, on your ECs, on your college applications, and on taking care of yourself.

Good luck!!

OP has not responded to this thread since September. Closing.

The easiest section to improve in is English, so I’d recommend getting some practice on this free online resource with concept based questions and video explanations that are quite helpful. A few hours a day will really pick your score up. It’s called

super late update…but all of my ACTs but 1 ended up being cancelled. Luckily, studying paid off and I got a 35!!

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Can you please send me the information of the coach. Thanks.

Hey @armayep. I worked with my son, but I am not a professional coach. We just spent some time working on his weaknesses, and looked at both conventional and out of the box test taking techniques to find what worked best for him. He spent 15 minutes every day over the summer working with Khan Academy after entering his practice test results and he improved literally every week . When he missed anything, he would look up the concept to make sure he understood why.

He took 2 practice tests under official testing conditions and 2 separate sectional tests on his weakest sections (1 for Reading and 1 for Science) which helped with his overall timing. Overall he went from a 30 ACT during the baseline test with no prep to a 35 ACT on official exam in about 10 weeks. Good luck to you during your preparation.

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(writing this for anyone who’s still wondering): As someone who consistently scores a 35 on ACT reading, I’ve found that it generally follows a formula. I see it more as a puzzle than an actual test. It’s super straightforward, so typically, your answer will require less analysis, and more word-hunting. I typically read through the passage pretty quickly, but not fast enough to not understand what’s going on. Annotations are relative to everyone, but I typically jot down a word or two to remind myself of what’s happening, and to engage myself. If your question has what I’d call a key word (e.g polar bear), I usually just re-skim the passage until I find the word, and read around it. That’s pretty general, but the most important thing is to not overthink!
Also, like ChangeTheGame said, write down what you miss and make sure that you revise your answers and understand why you get things wrong!

I have prepared a video on how to the ace the ACT, and maybe it can help you out. Feel free to DM me on insta for any further questions.