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Best way to boost ACT scores

Posted by on Aug. 4, 2014 at 1:03 AM
  • 9 Replies

Hi - My son has taken the ACT twice with a composite score of 24 each time. Last time, he got a 30 on Math, but then did poorly in the reading section.

He is great in Math, but really needs to bring up those other areas to stand a good chance at some scholarships - want to get at least a 28 composite.

We've gotten some books from the library and as well as online tests which helped.

Please advise if a tutor is really worth it. The next test is in about 6 weeks.

Thanks!




by on Aug. 4, 2014 at 1:03 AM
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Replies (1-9):
Maime13
by Member on Aug. 4, 2014 at 7:52 AM

A lot of people who don't have success on the SAT do better on the ACT. Could the inverse also be true? The ACT is more of a memory and how well were you taught to do certain things type test while the SAT is more a reasoning test. Has your son taken the SAT?

He needs to nail down his score this time for sure because it will look bad to take it more than 3 times. At least that is what they say during the admissions process. Is he looking at a particular school with a minimum requirement for aid? Like "with a gpa of X and a score of Y you automically get $00,0000 dollars"?
What schools is he considering? Is he looking at any test optional schools?

From what I saw during my oldest testing and application process, practice testing seemed to help people the most. Time is huge in the ACT (running out of it, that is) so practice tests with a timer. The basic idea of what is on the test isn't a secret, so making sure that he understands how to do what they are asking him to is pretty key. Last year, science was the area that got most people. Did he get his answers and see where he made mistakes both times? If they were similar, you're in a better position to improve.

Whether a tutor is necessary is really, I would think, a matter of how motivated your son is to reach his goal. A 4 point jump is pretty significant. It really is going to take daily practice.


Msgme
by Silver Member on Aug. 4, 2014 at 8:12 AM
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My dd has only taken the psat so far which she takes again in oct.  We've decided to go with a program like kaplan. She will really benefit i think from a promgram like that.  My son also taking the psat this october will be taking a free program we found thru the library. He doesnt exactly care as much as his sister does so spending that kinda money for him is not really worth it.  We found one for the PSAT, SAT and ACT for my dd. My son will be in one for the Psat and Sat. He's not planning on taking the ACT.

atlmom2
by Susie on Aug. 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM
1 mom liked this

My dd had a private tutor.  She improved from 18 on reading to a 22.  She had 12 weeks of tutoring though.  She took the SAT and ACT.  She did WAY better on the ACT. 

momtimesx4
by Member on Aug. 4, 2014 at 11:07 AM
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Take a look at one of those college prep programs.  There is one down the street from us and it's parking lot is jam packed on Saturday mornings so I usually have to schedule my Joanns/Michaels trips on another day.

Bertieb
by Member on Aug. 5, 2014 at 3:47 PM
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My daughter attended a college prep program run by one of her teachers and they've done a lot at school. She's taken ACT two times and not changed scores significantly, I think her best is 23. She has 3.9 in school and takes honors classes and college prep and gets A's! I think they do too much to make grades easy because her ACT doesn't reflect her classroom grades.

I'm frustrated that she does nothing on her own though and I seem to have to push for everything. I'm tired of it. She is a girl that has lofty goals but lazy attitude. She wants to go to a great school like her friends, yet won't put in any work. We won't qualify for much help and she won't do any community service or things to beef up her scholarship chances either. I know ten years from now she will be sorry but convincing her of that now just gets eye rolls and attitude.

I think if your child really applies himself/herself to the prep courses and help it will boost some, but focusing on the preparation will make the most difference.

strost
by New Member on Aug. 6, 2014 at 1:52 AM


Unfortunately for my kids, I'm a finanical and insurance advisor. The plans are for the kids to take out loans in their own names and defer the ones they can. When they graduate (and only when they graduate), we will take a lump sum that I hope to have saved to pay off the loans and establish some good credit in their names. Granted, my contribution will only cover about 1/2 of a full price 4 year degree.

I've told the kids if they can do it for less (scholarships, live at home, accelerated programs, taking college courses in high school, going to community college for the first two years, etc. )and don't tap into all of "their" money, I'll write them a check for the rest of it. They can then use that money for a trip around the world, for a car, for a down payment on a house or whatever.

I'm hoping they grasp that this is really their money to use wisely. If my son chooses ultimately not to study hard and improve his ACT scores, then it will cost him tens of thousands of dollars of lost scholarship opportunities. 

I always tell my clients that they (or more appropriately - their kids) can always borrow for college, but you cannot borrow for retirement. I'm a big fan of Roth IRAs for retirement and eduatation savings. 

Thanks!





suesues
by Silver Member on Aug. 6, 2014 at 7:40 AM
1 mom liked this

son took sat prep course didnt help much waste of money

Ewa101
by Bronze Member on Aug. 6, 2014 at 8:04 AM
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My son took an SAT prep course and did amazingly well.  The courses are expensive, and hence people are saying they create an unfair advantage for those who can afford them.  But obviously they work, especially, I think with kids, who are not disciplined enough to work hard on their own.

Ewa101
by Bronze Member on Aug. 6, 2014 at 8:10 AM

As far as financial planning you are well ahead of us.  My son is the third of our children, with a gap of 8 years between him and his older sister.  I saved for his college (couldn't for his sisters' since I don't make much, and had to pay a babysitter at that time), but what I managed to save would be enough to cover one year tuition and board at the state university.  Because of his amazing SAT scores he got into the City College of NY for free, with free dorm and a laptop, etc.  He chose, however, to attend, I think, the most expensive university in the nation.  He got some $$ from them, but we still have to pay some.

Quoting strost:


Unfortunately for my kids, I'm a finanical and insurance advisor. The plans are for the kids to take out loans in their own names and defer the ones they can. When they graduate (and only when they graduate), we will take a lump sum that I hope to have saved to pay off the loans and establish some good credit in their names. Granted, my contribution will only cover about 1/2 of a full price 4 year degree.

I've told the kids if they can do it for less (scholarships, live at home, accelerated programs, taking college courses in high school, going to community college for the first two years, etc. )and don't tap into all of "their" money, I'll write them a check for the rest of it. They can then use that money for a trip around the world, for a car, for a down payment on a house or whatever.

I'm hoping they grasp that this is really their money to use wisely. If my son chooses ultimately not to study hard and improve his ACT scores, then it will cost him tens of thousands of dollars of lost scholarship opportunities. 

I always tell my clients that they (or more appropriately - their kids) can always borrow for college, but you cannot borrow for retirement. I'm a big fan of Roth IRAs for retirement and eduatation savings. 

Thanks!






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