How can I get from a 32 to a 35?

I took the ACT for the first time and got a 32 composite (32 math, 35 English, 27 science, 32 reading). Don’t get me wrong, I am happy about getting this score on my first try, but I want to get at least a 34 or maybe even a 35 with a super score. I know this will be hard and I know for a lot of schools this is unnecessary, but for the schools and scholarships I want, it would be very helpful and give me some peace of mind during the application process.

So what can I do to bring up my average? For a 35, I need at least two 35s and 2 34s, so I think I can get 35s on English and reading and 34s on math and science. I would really appreciate helpful YouTube videos, tips and tricks, prep routines, etc. I took the ACT again today so I will have those new scores in soon. My next (and hopefully last) ACT is 88 days away, so that’s how long I have to prep.

I’d focus on bringing up your science sub score. The science section trick that worked for my D was reading the answers first and then going back to read the body of the question. She was better able to pick out the important information and skipping the rest.

Take as many practice tests as you can but hopefully this second test will have you where you want to be!

Thank you for the advice! I always struggled with science (usually not enough time) in the past but this is actually the strategy I used today and I finished with 5 minutes to spare, so hopefully my science score is a lot better

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This is important because the ACT is as much about reading as it is the actual science (and math for that matter).

Take timed practice tests and then go over every single answer, right and wrong, until you are completely comfortable with how they got to the answer. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Good luck!

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We used a tutor who went over what they got wrong on practice tests, why they thought their answers were correct, and why the correct answer was right instead. They also worked on timing and other strategies.

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This is what worked for my kid, whose main issue was the math, and also the science. You can get 5 retired ACTs by buying their Official Guide book. They only update one test a year, so it’s fine to get a slightly out of date one for cheap. You can also find free, legally in the public domain, retired ACTs on the internet. Reddit is your friend for this. Take a few science sections, so that you become very, very familiar with all the ways in which they present the data. Once you recognized all their graphs and charts and tables, it should go much faster. Kid raised their science score from I think about a 30 on the first practice, to a 36 by the time they took the test.

For the math, my kid used the 2 book series called The Best ACT Math Books Ever to review, and then did many math sections from retired ACTs. They said that the last few problems were always too hard, and they always ran out of time, but they managed to get a 34 in math. After they’d had Calc BC, they said that if they’d had calc beforehand, it would have helped them to be able to finish the math section faster.

For the reading and English sections, just do practice sections from retired exams. I think that you should be able to get your score up to what you want - it’s very much within reach, with prep.

I took a short class through the Boys and Girls Club that talked about a lot of tricks and patterns and it was so helpful! I’ll definitely be going through some practice tests and looking at why I got a problem right/wrong.

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My DS scored a 35. He prepared by using the following:

  1. Science - For the Love of ACT Science; this is an excellent book that will help shift your approach for the science section (keep note there is a very small amount of basic content that is required, but this will only show up for 1-2 questions max)
  2. English - Erica Meltzer (you already have 35 English, so you can focus on other subjects)
  3. Math - CollegePanda ACT Math by Neilson Phu
  4. Reading - Erica Meltzer

He then took practice tests from the Red Book and analyzed each of his missed questions carefully, keeping log on a google document.

Seems like everyone has their favorite act book

But the Act is a faster test and this was an issue originally with my son. There are tons of problems here. He worked on his weakest and strongest subject. English being weak and math being strong. This really helped him. I would shoot for a 34. More realistic. It’s hard bringing it up when your at 32 and above but definitely can be done. Review all your mistakes and understand why you got something wrong. Good luck.