I’m trying to prep for the act and I can’t seem to improve my score. It feels as if I’m a horrible test taker. I know some people think that there’s no such thing as a bad test taker, but it seems so much easier for some other people I know. For example, my brother barely studied two weeks and got a near perfect score on the gre. I also don’t understand why it’s so difficult for me since I have a high gpa of 3.96/4 and have gotten good grades in fairly difficult ap classes. It’s disheartening to think that my possible potential is blocked by a single test score that feels impossible to improve.

Should I give up on the act? I know this sounds snobby, but should I give up on t20s as well?

Do you have a tutor? There are tips on how to skim, & analyze science charts. Is a problem lack of knowledge, or, getting tripped up by wording, or, running out of time?

Whats your score?

A 26C on the July test which was my first time. Tbh I kind of made this post in the heat of the moment because I was feeling pretty down.

No I don’t have a tutor. For math I have problem with timing (like I’ll basically guess the last 10 bc I don’t have time) and for reading and science I have problems with consistency (sometimes I’ll get 33+ or I’ll get 24). For English I consistently get around 31ish which I’m trying to improve.

Have you done a sample SAT? Some people do better one one test than the other. Many colleges are test-optional for the fall application cycle. Have you checked your colleges of interest?


See some tips

Also Struggling to improve ACT science score--tips and tricks?
Running out of time on ACT is common problem. Many schools might superscore.

1 Like

I haven’t yet, but I’m thinking about doing so. I’m probably going to take the august test as well.

Tyvm for this! I’ll look into personal tutoring (hadn’t really thought about it before).

I would not take an August test if I hadn’t found better approaches to fixing my issues and improved on practice tests.
Stop comparing yourself to your brother.
And yes, please look at other colleges besides T20s.


I suggest you spend a little money and get a private tutor who can help figure out where you are going wrong. Running out of time answering ten math questions suggests your time management is the issue.

It also suggests that you should look at the SAT. Many regard SAT math as easier than ACT math. The reading section of the SAT is decidedly more difficult than the ACT reading, but there’s a lot more time.

Read this: Common sense tips to help raise your SAT/ACT score
Are you guilty of any of these time killers?


I don’t have any advice; just a story that you’re not alone. My kid has a 3.91 unweighted gpa, has taken mostly honors and AP classes, and is generally good at math, yet has gotten a 14/20 for the no-calculator portion on three practice SATs. She even went over all the missed questions afterward with a prep book and her dad (who is good at math; he took the third practice along with her and scored 19/20). She hasn’t taken a practice ACT but we are going to do so in November or December, just to see if it’s a better fit. It’s definitely depressing not to see any improvement despite effort. I hope you figure it out and get a satisfying score. Don’t give up on T20s until you have your final test scores and you are not taking them again - until then, change is always possible so hope is alway appropriate.

1 Like

How beneficial would you say tutoring is over online and textbook prep material?

Hey @Mnda. You seem to have almost exactly the same problem I have: lack of motivation, negative thoughts regarding competitive tests, and no strategy. I have found a website that has a lot of amazing resources and strategies for both SAT, ACT, and a few more. ( No copyright infringement intended or attempted ) :

You can use this website for SAT, or if you want to prepare for ACT or any other common test, they have links to that in that website.

Hope this helps! ( I know it helped me )

Sorry for the delayed reply