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Engineers and engineering students: what did you get on ACT

  1. Sep 4, 2005 #1
    Engineers and engineering students: what did you get on the ACT?

    from what i understand, the ACT is an approximation of how well you will do in your first semester of college.

    i know a bunch of people will say, "it doesn't matter what i got...i just worked hard my first year of college." while i am proud of you, you wouldn't be answering the question with that response.

    also, i am taking AP calculus (i am a senior in high school), AP college (not calculus based) physics, and AP chemistry. for those that took these classes, how does the difficulty of college courses compare to these three courses?

    thanks. i hope to be an engineer and i am trying to gather up as much information as i can.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2005 #2


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    I think I got 29. But that was way back in 1974. Is the scale still the same?

    BTW, I did great in highschool (salutatorian without really having to work hard), then got my butt kicked the first term of college (lousy study skills). I pulled it together and graduated with high honors, with plenty of straight-A terms. IMO, how you do when you first start college depends a lot on how good your study skills are coming out of HS.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2005
  4. Sep 5, 2005 #3
    It is out of 36 now...might have been the same then.

    so you did well in high school and were shocked a bit at first in college? what type of engineering did you pursue? i have heard that you go to class, study, and do homework for about the same amount of time you would spend working at a full time job (45 hours or so)...is that a high or low estimate?
  5. Sep 6, 2005 #4


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    I didn't take the ACTs. I did get a 1430 on my SAT's though. I think that was the only reason I got into college, considering how poor my high school grades were.
  6. Sep 6, 2005 #5


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    My problem at first was that high school was easy for me, so I never had to learn effective study skills and habits. I didn't goof off or anything that first term, I just didn't study well enough, and my grades were in the B to B- range. I realized that I would have to really get it together to graduate with a great GPA, which I really wanted to do. It wasn't easy, but by the end of my BS I had about a 3.8 GPA in my technical subjects. o:)

    I initially went to college planning on an EE/ME double major. But near the end of my first year I took my first programming class (FORTRAN!), and really enjoyed it. It was very challenging, and I aced the class -- great feeling. So I decided to change to the EE/CS track, and got my BSEE/CS. Then I got my MSEE under scholarship with Bell Labs. Good thing I decided to study hard!

    The 45 hour estimate probably isn't far off, depending on your class load and how well you study. For me to get grades in the straight-A range, I pretty much had to give up partying during the term (but not between terms!), and I probably averaged about 30-40 hours of work outside of class. The smartest couple guys in my classes were generally working less than me, but probably still in the 20-30 hour range outside of class.

    The extra work that I usually ended up doing to help me study would be to do extra problems in each section that we were studying, and to always try to do the hardest couple of problems in a section, even if they weren't given as homework. I'd keep a running crib sheet for each class of important concepts and forumulas, and I usually would try to organize my binders, etc., to make it easier to keep track of my classwork and labwork. I also would do hobby projects in electronics and programming on the side, because practical experience is *so* important in being able to learn well. Building extra circuits and writing extra programs really helps you to learn to "ask the right questions" in your classwork. And asking the right questions (of the instructor or even of yourself) is a real key to effective learning.

    I also discovered that I really enjoyed Physics. So much so that I considered changing my major to Physics or Applied Physics. In the end I decided that I could probably make better money in Engineering, so I stayed with the EE/CS major. But my first couple A+ grades that I got in college were in some of the harder undergraduate Physics classes, and that was sweet! :biggrin:
  7. Sep 8, 2005 #6
    SAT score: 1420.
    Performance in my first semester..actually the first 3 semesters. Dismal.
    Reason: Doing well in college requires self discipline and the best reason to develop self discipline is to have a goal. I didn't have one at that time, except to drink beer and chase girls. If you don't do the work, your SAT score makes no difference.
    Resultant GPA: 1.2.
    GPA on all classes since 1980 (approx. 75 hrs) 3.92.
    Self discipline makes the student.
    or at least...IMHO it does. :)
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