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Tips for taking ACT test

  1. Jan 25, 2015 #1
    Hello There!
    Can I have some tips for taking ACT. I took for the first time and got 26, can y'all tell me how I can get it into 30's?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Answer more questions correctly? :D

    A 26 is about the 85% percentile. A 32 is the 98th or 99th percentile. So you need to move up a lot, and you're not going to move up a lot with just "tips". You're going to need to look at the kinds of questions you missed, and work on those skills.
  4. Jan 25, 2015 #3
  5. Jan 25, 2015 #4
  6. Jan 25, 2015 #5
    I did do that..but are there any tricks that are very common/?
  7. Jan 25, 2015 #6
    Have you taken some practice tests?
  8. Jan 25, 2015 #7
    I've bought 2 prep books and practiced them ans that is exactly how I got 26. But I need more tricks.
  9. Jan 25, 2015 #8
    What were your scores for each category? If there's one subject you didn't do well on, we can maybe have a better idea on how to help you improve.
  10. Jan 25, 2015 #9
    Well, reading was the lowest 23, I got 35 on Science, and 25 in Math, and English.
    A 8 in essay.
  11. Jan 25, 2015 #10
    A 35 in science? Wow, that's awesome!

    Do you have any idea of which questions you missed? Was it vocab questions, or those silly reading comprehension questions?
  12. Jan 25, 2015 #11
    I was so surprised I did that good. Yet, I felt really sad that I could have gotten a perfect score in something.
    Here is what ACT expects us to know for the Science sections:

    Interpretation of Data

    • relate scientific information contained in written text to numerical data
    • manipulate algebraic equations that represent data
    Scientific Investigation

    • determine the hypothesis behind an experiment that requires more than one step
    • determine alternate methods of testing a hypothesis
    Evaluation of Experiments, Models, and Assertions
    • communicate findings of an experiment and compare conclusions with those of your peers
    So, I want to if you have any places where we can specifically practice these? :nb)

    Yes, I have a huge problem with passages, and math, I need to still improve. I am stats student and I felt like the my reading, math and English score pulled me away from getting a score in the 30's. :headbang:

    Dude! Can you tell me what is the exact way you do the practice tests? I feel like I am always doing them wrong. For instance, I would go to a question, get the answer and check the answer from the back of the book (answers) and see if I got the answer correct or not. But, I feel like that doesn't work. :olduhh:
  13. Jan 25, 2015 #12
    That's really the only way to do practice tests. If the real answer differs from your answer, try to figure out why, and then use that logic on the next question you don't understand, and see if it's right. Although, truthfully, reading comprehension on the ACT is ridiculous - there are often more than one that is right.
  14. Jan 26, 2015 #13
    I had a 34 composite on mine, so I'll tell you what *I* think helped me (it worked for me, but that doesn't mean it works for everyone).

    Really, there's nothing you can do to prepare for the math section except do math problems. You probably know you should be comfortable with trigonometry, you should know how to manipulate equations, geometry, maybe a little bit of high school probability. Definitely work practice tests for these. If you don't immediately know how to begin working a problem, then skip it and come back. You have exactly one minute per problem, and sometimes they're easier to do after you've warmed up.

    Reading is INCREDIBLY straightforward. You just have to read quickly while taking in as much information as you can. Best you can do is practice reading quickly. 99% of the time, the answers come word for word from the passage. It helps to keep tabs in your mind on what each paragraph was about.

    This is similar to reading. No scientific knowledge is actually necessary, so treat it like reading in which you're required to be able to interpret graphs and scientific arguments. If you're posting on physicsforums, chances are you're aquainted with some science.

    You have to make sure you know your grammar. Know exactly when you use semicolons. Know exactly when to use commas, apostrophes, quotation marks. Know how to identify fragments and run-ons. Best thing you can do is review english lessons online.

    And of course, the absolute best thing to do is to take a practice ACT. Actually, take as many as you can get your hands on. Take it exactly like the testing conditions. I took 5 practice tests before I made the 34 (my second attempt). On the last two, I actually gave myself LESS time than the test allows.
  15. Jan 27, 2015 #14
    Sleeping the night before is essential. Additionally, try not to worry too much during the exam and just realize it is a piece of paper with a few words on it. The biggest room for improvement will probably be most feasible in the English and math categories. Science can be much easier if you have taken AP Biology. Reading seems to the most difficult to improve on. Trust me, in a few years, you'll look back and realize how easy the exam is, and wonder why you didn't get a 36 (you most likely did not get a 36 due to intellectual immaturity) lol Good luck.
  16. Jan 27, 2015 #15
    Congrats on your science score! That is very impressive! My tip is approach each section as if it were the science section. Clearly you have a solid foundation in reasoning and you are objective if you scored a 35 in Science. Take that some analytical approach to reading and english. Math on the other hand takes a different approach. Focus on really UNDERSTANDING the mathematics required for the ACT (trig for example). I urge this because many people simply memorize a formula or two and unless that exact case comes up in the test it is useless. On the other hand, if you devote your time to truly understanding a concept and being able to derive the equations yourself, I guarantee you will be able to correctly answer those math questions! Good luck! Remember, a 26 is still a very good score if you look a t the population as a whole. The fact that you are making an effort to improve your studying shows that you are taking the test seriously and putting forth effort which is the best way to guarantee improvement. I improved my test score 6 points in a year by focusing on the mathematics and english sections more. Time for you to do better than me and score 7 points higher!
  17. Jan 29, 2015 #16
    Thank you so much! I appreciate that. :)
  18. Feb 1, 2015 #17
    A 35 on the science part is incredible! Good job.

    What I would recommend is taking a prep class and hiring an ACT tutor. My library had those, and having a tutor in particular was awesome. Weekly tutor meetings twice a week for a year brought my composite score from 28 the first time I took it (start of junior year) up to 33 (at the beginning of senior year). Library tutors tend to be either free or reasonably priced.

    Other recommendations:

    Take the test several times so you can get a feel for it. Also, some tests might be easier than others, and several attempts will give you several options for what to send in (remember, you only have to send in one score). I took the test 4 times before I got the score I wanted. Also, and this might just be urban legend, but supposedly the December test is easier.

    Also, take some honors or AP-level courses especially on writing and reading since that's where you seem to be struggling. I would say try to get yourself into honors precalc and honors language arts.
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