How To Improve ACT Score

LifehacksStudy tips
May 9, 2019

Like the SAT, most students go through the ACT armed with little knowledge of what to expect, and many others have gone through preparations in studying programs. While these are helpful, there is no specific experience that can fully prepare you for the ACT, which is your first standardized test – the risks may be high. Some students sit down and find themselves surprised by the format, skills required, and the pace at which the test happens. Preparing for the ACT can only give you so much – others even experience test anxiety. Regardless of your first ACT experience, the second time you take it will likely be easier. The pacing, questions, and format will remain as they are, but this time around, you will be facing it with prior knowledge. Your test anxiety will likely subside, too. It is shown that students who’ve taken the ACT test more than once find that their scores increase between the first and second tests. A good ACT score, after all, will help you get into the best colleges in the country.

If you’ve taken the ACT, and are now looking to improve your score, then it’s time to take your chances. There are plenty of strategies to improve your ACT score, and taking that first round of the ACT test is relevant to this process. This guide elaborates on more information about the ACT, along with some tips to raise the ACT score.

Preparations for Your Next ACT

Note: your preparations for the next ACT should begin the moment your first one is over. Once you have everything about college preparations in check, like submitting your admission essay, then focus on acing your ACT.

As soon as the proctor collects the material and you’ve gathered your things, get a piece of paper and write everything you remember about the test. You might be able to remember some specific questions, content that seemed unfamiliar, and difficult subjects. Information like this will be an important part of your study plan to get a good ACT score and for future tests.

If by any chance, you didn’t get to write anything down, chances are you’ll remember more than you think you will. After the test, set aside some minutes to reflect on your entire ACT experience. See yourself in the testing room and recall as much as you can about the content, format, and general experience. Use these for coming up with a plan to practice ACT.

How to Interpret Your Score Report

Your ACT test results are usually available within two to eight weeks after your test date. You can check your results online through your ACT web account. Copies will also be mailed to your high school. You are inclined to, of course, view your composite score, and look at your section scores. Depending on how you did, you will either be inspired to pin them on the fridge or set them on fire. 

Don’t just gloss over your score report, however. It’s easy to overlook this, but the results actually contain useful information that will be necessary to help you with future tests. Do pay attention to your sub-scores, as this is a simple way to identify which areas you need help improving.

Tips to Improve Your ACT Score

You may be crestfallen after receiving bad results. The good news is that you can take the ACTs multiple times, providing you opportunities to increase ACT scores. Here are some tips for improving your ACT score:

  • Set your target score.

You have to set a target score before you start the process of improving your ACT score, which will set the tone of your study plan. Before achieving anything, having a target score will give you a better idea of the kind of effort you will be giving to the entire process.

There are two things to consider before setting your target score. First and foremost, you will need to factor in the score from your first test. You may be thinking that the lower your score, the more room there is for improvement, but remember that you have to set realistic goals. For instance, if you get a 21 as your first ACT score, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll be getting a 35 on the second. It’s more feasible to aim for a five or six-point increase instead, and even that will require you to really work hard. The second thing you have to consider is the score range of admitted students of the schools you wish to attend. Remember that to set a target score and being unable to meet that doesn’t mean you’re a failure – don’t beat yourself up over it.

  • Determine which mistakes you make frequently.

After you’ve taken the ACT, it will be much easier to identify the errors that cost you lost points, so that you’ll be ready for the next time. Improving ACT scores will be difficult, but not impossible. Should you find that your ACT score is lower than your practice ACTs, then there’s a good chance that your performance was affected by test anxiety. The best way to deal with nerves is to take the test frequently, as you will see improvement the next time you take the test. However, if you find that your errors are because of problems with the actual content, look for the Detailed Results on your report. This will help you determine which areas you are weakest at. You can improve on this by studying specifically on that subject. If, however, you find that your errors spread across all content areas, then your mistake may be rushing through your work – those mistakes are results of carelessness.

  • Consider your time management and evaluate it.  

The truth is, the ACT is fast-paced and you need to adapt to it. Being unable to move at a rapid pace will cost you, as you won’t be able to answer all of the questions. If you’ve taken you ACT, think carefully and remember your pacing throughout the test. Which sections were easier and allowed you more time? Which were more difficult and took up so much? Did you run out of time? To improve your ACT score, a balance of moving fast and answering quickly but care is needed. Know that it’s okay to skip difficult questions, and only return to them at the end. Not dwelling on those won’t eat up your time, and you’ll have plenty to spend on questions you’re more likely to get right.

  • Develop a strategy that will help you read quickly.

Reading quickly goes hand in hand with time management, and is vital to your goal to raise your ACT score. Keep in mind that the Science, English, and Reading sections require a ton of reading, and with the ACT’s pacing, there isn’t much time to read them. Because of this, it is highly suggested that you develop a strategy to tackle written passages better.

  • Ask for help.

To improve their scores, students privileged enough to exercise the option to hire ACT tutors, as their services can be quite expensive. Luckily, there are other options available for students with tighter budgets. Scholarships are usually available at tutoring companies, both online and local. If you’re unwilling to go through the scholarship selection process, you have the option to find a tutor  or a teacher available at your school who’s familiar with guiding students with the ACT. Your friends can also help, too, and little group study sessions will go a long way in improving ACT score.

  • Learn the specific material which requires memorization.

Understand that preparing for the ACT is more than just a one-dimensional process. If you wish to raise act scores, you need to learn not only the actual content but the format, some strategies, and time management. A lot of the skills required to improve act score are “ soft skills ”, which refers to abilities like inferring meaning while reading, or evaluating how ideas work together in a text. Some parts of the content will be harder to learn and require a lot of practice, like formulas in mathematics or rules for grammar. To get ahead, memorize these rules and formulas.

SupertutorTV, like its namesake, dedicates itself to aiding students in various subjects. On the link below, they focus on helping students improve their ACT score and even get a perfect one: 

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