Concerns about Fluctuations of Test Score

Hi All,

I am writing this out of concern because I have started to prepare for the February Act but have seen my scores fluctuate so wildly in the reading and English sections. On reading I have usually received a score of 30-32 or so but on my last practice test I received a 36. However, my English is always very solid at 35 but on my last test I received a 31. I experienced the same fluctuation in math, in my opinion my strongest section, where on every practice I have taken I have received a 34 or 35 but on my last test I received a 30, my lowest score. So even though my reading went up a lot my other two scores brought me down hindering improvement. Was this an off day or is this normal? Is there any way to combat these fluctuations because it seems to me whenever I improve an individual section’s score the other score goes down. I am hoping for a 34 or 35 on the real test and I know I am able to recieve a 35 or 36 on both math and English, but have never been able to line up these high scores with a high score on reading on an individual test. Thanks for the help!

Do you ever go back and understand the mistakes you made on the questions you get wrong? Some sections do have harder questions and/or more difficult material (for example, reading about something you are interested in on the reading section will produce different results than if you are reading something that isn’t very interesting). The best way to do well is to keep taking practice tests and understand your mistakes. Fluctuations do happen, and if it does happen on your actual test, you can always retake. My reading score on the ACT was always my weakest, yet on my actual test I got a 36 on the section. Hopefully this helps!

I think you just had an off day. I took three practice ACTs, and I got 34-36 on most of the categories except for one practice test, where I got a 31 on math and reading. When I took the actual ACT, I got a 34 on both math and reading.

@azwu331 @aaronuhs thanks very much for the replies. I guess the only way to ensure I don’t drop on the real thing is to keep practicing