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7 months ago
Admissions Advice

How can I improve my ACT score from a 24 to a 29?
Answered

If you have any tips, please let me know! Thank you!

11th
ACT
ACT-prep
1
5

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3 answers

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Accepted Answer
7 months ago

When you take practice tests or do practice sections it's super important to recognize where you are getting the questions wrong, similar to what @collegegordo15 mentioned. But, you want to make sure you learn the specific areas you need to improve on so you can maximize your time studying. So next time you take a practice test/section I want you to do a few things: 1) for any question you know the answer to right away/know how to figure out you should mark with a star or other symbol. Basically any question where you are 95-100% confident you got the right answer should be a star/whatever symbol you choose. 2) for any question where you're unsure of the answer you should mark with a square. It's important not to cheat here. If you're even a little unsure of the answer or how to approach the problem you should put a square around it. While difficult, if you can write a percentage of how confident you feel when answering that can be helpful for later 3) For questions where you take a long time/don't know the answer/don't know how to approach you should put a circle around it. After the end of your practice tally up the numbers you got for each symbol. I would recommend recording the number you got right and wrong for each symbol.

Why do this? You can learn a ton from this....and I haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet! For starters, we learn if you are actually correctly answering the questions you are putting stars around (95-100% confident). Ideally you will be getting close to 100% accuracy for questions you star. If not, we'll need to look into it. 2) We learn how many questions you're unsure about. This is important because uncertainty can be a time killer which is bad for tests, we learn some areas of growth for you to practice, and we learn how likely you are to get a question you're unsure about right. 3) Any questions you circle will help us narrow down the concepts you'll need to brush up on. It's helpful to know which subjects will need the most practice but we're going to go deeper than that.

This next part is easier if you have test prep books most of the time but it's not impossible without them (especially if you use something like Khan Academy). So, we've marked all the questions and have a general sense of which areas need some practice but now what? Now we get into the nitty-gritty. You're going to write down the specific concepts for each question you were unsure about or got wrong. Feel free to do it for questions you got right too but it's not as necessary. So now instead of "oh, I went 9/15 on math I guess I should practice that" you'll be able to say "I went 9/15 on math. Of the 6 questions I got wrong 2/6 were inequalities, 3/6 were system of equations, and 1/6 was quadratics." You'll have questions which fit multiple topics too. A system of equations question can involve inequalities, a quadratics question can come as a word problem, you get the idea. As you fill up your notebook over time you will get a very clear picture on the areas where you can grow. Not only that but you are also going to write down WHY you got the question wrong. Was it because you guessed? Because you didn't know the concept? Careless error? So now you're going to know the exact concepts you're getting wrong AND the most common reasons why you're getting them wrong. This helps you pinpoint a lot better where you should spend your time studying.

Also consider your timing for the test. If you haven't tried it, do some timed drills. If you struggle to get to the end of a section or feel like you are rushed that is something you will want to work on. The SAT and ACT are all about learning HOW to take the test. I've worked with a super wide range of students and you'd be surprised the score increases people have gotten by just learning how to take the tests better. Once you feel like you've got a handle on most of the concepts I suggest you take some time to find strategies on how to take the test more efficiently and accurately. Hopefully you see that 29 in no time!

Let me know if you have questions - hope I was able to help!

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7 months ago

If you have a subject or area that you scored much higher on when compared to another (i.e. did well on the math portions, so study more English and writing focused this time, vice versa) you should focus on helping improve where you think you are the weakest. Another thing, something I found helpful was just to practice 30 or so minutes a night, answer 10-15 practice questions per day, alternating subjects. It's best to practice everyday, but not to where you are overwhelmed or focusing on one subject too much. You can look at many different websites that offer varying ways to study and different questions to practice, I recommend Khan Academy. Good Luck!

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4 months ago[edited]

I think that the best way to improve the learning habits and achieve the required score is constant self-improvement. When I wanted to upgrade my writing skills, I have learned everything about essay structure, all citation styles, and used the online sources such as this one https://gradesfixer.com/citation/harvard/ where the experts designed the citation generator for Harvard formatting style (this one seems to be the most difficult for me). So my point is that you should use online resources.

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