Make it Happen
Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/14/2010 8:55PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I've just graduated few months ago, but I decided to enroll college in the Winter. I signed up for the ACT test in Sept.

Now I'll have too much time on my hands: run 6:00am finish everything around 7:30, nap til 10, 10am-5pm is free time, 5:30pm to 8:00pm is second practice.

I recently bought a few study books but no one to tutor me. How should I manage my free time?

I really need this or my dad will kick me out the house to join the Military. I'm not trolling.

I'm thankful for having this oppurtunity.
bearer of bad news
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/14/2010 9:11PM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Short of getting once-in-a-thousand-years kind of lucky, you can't do it. You can study facts until you're blue in the face, but 34s don't happen randomly. You might get a 27 or 28, but not a 34. 34s don't happen for a lot of people who are top tier students in high school. Math and English are your biggest hurdles and it takes time to master the concepts that lead to high scores in those subject areas. If your last ACT was a 24, you don't have time to get to that kind of mastery. You probably didn't have one high school teacher who could score a 34 on the ACT (not impossible, just unlikely).

Study books will just make your nap time occur earlier, and more frequently. Have you ever seriously tried to read one of those?

So, why a 34? There aren't many colleges that require a 34 for admission.
Clell Adams
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/14/2010 9:16PM - in reply to bearer of bad news Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Good reply. Reading a lot and getting faster in your comprehension will help some as well.
I would guess the 34 target is for a "Full Paid Scholarship" to a top tier college. A 31 can get a decent scholarship in some good institutions if your GPA from HS is 3.5 or better. It depends on what type classes you took.
Someone who enjoys running
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/14/2010 9:19PM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Study hard - make sure that you do some practice tests, i.e. take a mock test, as taking standardized tests is a skill. Signing up for a class couldn't hurt either. Don't buy that crap that studying for so-called "aptitude tests" won't jack your score up. Some people are smarter than others. That is certainly true. But "smart people" are "smart" because they work really, really hard. If you work hard at anything you will get better at it. Your score should go up some just from taking it a second time too.

How much should you study? It is like Lydiard said about running - it is really difficult to do too much of it.

Also, you should look at the deadlines for enrolling in college and make sure that you don't wait too late.
jag
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/14/2010 10:02PM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'm pretty familiar with these tests and the college admissions process, so while I don't want to discourage you, the difference between a 24 and, let's say, a 30 or 31, can be hard work and preparedness. The difference between 31 and 34, in all honesty, for most people, is just luck, because at that level, you're clearly bright enough to succeed, but whether or not you know the answers to each of the quantitative questions, that's just coincidence. So while I don't want to poke my nose into anything, I think it's probably pretty important to discuss with your dad what his expectations really are: if he wants you to do well on the test and get into a nice college, I'm sure you can achieve that. But as far as a score of 34 (near perfect) on the ACT, I'm not sure why that, in and of itself, would be the goal... I mean, people get into Harvard (occasionally) with 30s.
Dicky V
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/14/2010 11:13PM - in reply to jag Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'm not kidding at all here, I raised mine from 22 to 34, granted the 22 was a practice test and I didnt know timing so on some sections I would leave a shit-ton blank. I just got a one-on-one tutor, and it worked miracles.

The ACT is a lot about test taking, and not necessarily intellegence, IMO.
American Way
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 8:10AM - in reply to Dicky V Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Do practice tests over and over and over...and see why every answer is right or wrong. Since you can't memorize material, and "learning the test" will only take you so far, you need to see what kind of problems are going to be thrown at you. There are only so many types of questions they can ask, and you can master all of them with enough practice. I believe a relatively smart person with enough dedication can easily get a 30 with enough practice...34 may take a little luck but who knows.
hs xc runner
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 9:52AM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Do you have to take the ACT?

For me anyway, I found the SAT to be a lot easier to study for. There are a ton of SAT study books out there, many more than ACT. By studying SAT vocabulary words for 4 months and doing basically all the practice tests in the college board SAT book (10 of them) I was able to raise my SAT score from 1800 to 2130. I know that is not great by prep school standards, but I go to a small rural high school where average SAT scores probably are around 1250 or 1300, so it was pretty good for me. If you want even more, they even have an online course for $60 or so that has, I think, 10 more practice tests - on the college board web site.

I took the ACT also and just found it really difficult to study for - the science sections, for example. It's not like you can just memorize a bunch of facts for it - it involves a lot of data interpretation that it seems like you can either do or you can't. Also, the reading passages seemed much longer - if you are a slow reader like me, study is not likely to make it any easier. I just plain ran out of time on the ACT and couldn't finish big chunks of it. I didn't like the ACT at all and didn't bother to retake it.
Yep^
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 10:55AM - in reply to hs xc runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

hs xc runner wrote:

Do you have to take the ACT?

For me anyway, I found the SAT to be a lot easier to study for. There are a ton of SAT study books out there, many more than ACT. By studying SAT vocabulary words for 4 months and doing basically all the practice tests in the college board SAT book (10 of them) I was able to raise my SAT score from 1800 to 2130. I know that is not great by prep school standards, but I go to a small rural high school where average SAT scores probably are around 1250 or 1300, so it was pretty good for me. If you want even more, they even have an online course for $60 or so that has, I think, 10 more practice tests - on the college board web site.

I took the ACT also and just found it really difficult to study for - the science sections, for example. It's not like you can just memorize a bunch of facts for it - it involves a lot of data interpretation that it seems like you can either do or you can't. Also, the reading passages seemed much longer - if you are a slow reader like me, study is not likely to make it any easier. I just plain ran out of time on the ACT and couldn't finish big chunks of it. I didn't like the ACT at all and didn't bother to retake it.


This depends on where you live in the country. If you're in a state with an ACT bias, you'll find better ACT books and you'll have more prep for the tes.

It's highly unlikely you'll raise it that much, unless you've got a real learning disability or are a really poor test taker. In this case, immersion is benificial.

You can likely pull it up to 29-30, which isn't shabby, and depending on your college choice, may get you close to a full academic ride, and maybe you can get out of this military committment, if you desire.
aim for 28
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 11:53AM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You must be realistic about your odds of scoring 34 on the ACT. That is probably around the 99th percentile. You can't get there in 3 weeks of studying unless something went very wrong the first time around. I scored 33 on the ACT 10 years ago without a minute of study or preparation, and I would guess the majority of students at that level were the same way. It's nothing to brag about as ACT scores mean jack in college and beyond, but I was taking upper level calculus classes at a major university when I took the ACT. The math/science sections were not hard compared to the classes I was already taking. You are competing against the same type of students. If you aren't at this type of ability already, you won't be able to fake your way there with a few weeks of cramming.

However, you can get into school with a 24. At the very least you can always start in community college and take out loans as you go. If you have the drive and discipline and put in the work in hard classes, no matter where you end up this winter, you can do very well in college. They don't grade you on your ACT score.

Your dad has no say on what you do with your life. Do NOT go into the military simply because he kicks you out and orders you to enlist. Sleep on a friends couch if this happens. Someone will help you. You are an adult and free to make your own decisions. You will end up risking and possibly losing your life in Afghanistan or Iraq. Debt from a college loan is far and away more favorable to being on the front line of a war.
G-50
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 12:17PM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Check the thread on the University of Oregon. Apparently you only need a 20 on the ACT to get in. Good luck!
tjrk
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 1:26PM - in reply to G-50 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It's hard not to think of this as not a troll thread, but I'll play along:

This table indicates that the 99th %ile starts at a 32 composite:
http://www.actstudent.org/scores/norms1.html
According to it, even a 28 puts you above the 90th %ile. So presumbably the need for a 34 is to get a specific, test-related scholarship. Sorry, it's not gonna happen.

I used to work/teach for Kaplan, so I know that you can raise your score with practice; but even so, I agree with the earlier poster who said that you're not going to raise your score (absent sheer luck, or specific disastrous reasons for having gotten a 24 on your previous test) ten points in three weeks.

My advice: Take a harder look at the military. There are options there (e.g. the Air Force) that would at least make it less likely you'll get your @ss shot off; after X amount of time, you'd be eligible for $$$ for college; and you might qualify for language school, which is a really sweet deal and leaves you with a very marketable skill. Seriously, talk to the recruiters and see what kind of deal they can cut you. They're pretty desperate for recruits, right about now.

OP, given that you seem completely unmotivated to work to boost your score, I'd say you're not really motivated to go to college (now) anyway. Go into the military. When you come out in a few years, you'll be more physically (and, I'd bet, mentally/emotionally) mature; and you'll have full eligibility to run in college, if that's still what you want to do.

But, bottom line: 24 to 34? Extraordinarily unlikely, even for someone who genuinely *wanted* to do it.
pPpPpPp
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 2:54PM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
imposible unless u get a tutor and work really hard
Make it Happen
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 9:27PM - in reply to pPpPpPp Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I highly respect all of the opinions. And I also agree that a score over 32 or 33 might take some luck. The only reason why I said 24 to 34 because my friend made a 22 the first time and made a 34 after three weeks of tutoring before the test. I regret not taking it my 9th or 10th grade year because I felt like I was at my prime considering the content of the ACT test (took Algebra I and Alg II w/trig 8th and 9th grade year). On the math part I'll be unhappy with a score less than 33 but the reading I'm gonna need some speed work on that.

This first week I'm gonna review math 30min a day, and work on fast reading and comprehension skills the rest of my free time. I'll take a practice test or two after each of these things.

Maybe if I make my goal easier (let's say a 29 or 30) I'll put less stress on myself.

Should I get a tutor online(24/7) or go local? If you have any other suggestions on how I should manage my time, please tell me.
Python
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 9:39PM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Practising tons of questions will not improve your score. You can do much better as you become familiar with the sections and timing, but ACT-specific prep is useless.
A tutor to teach you the information tested in the ACT will help, and understanding the timing innately will help a lot.

source- 34 twice. I really should have scored higher the second time..urgh. The ACT is like an endurance test. You must answer a ton of easy questions without making a stupid mistake.
igotshot
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 10:02PM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If this is a troll it is a pretty good attempt, in the case where it isn't I will go ahead and bite.

I doubt you will raise your ACT to a 34 from a 22, but that does not mean you cannot make a marked improvement.

I took the ACT as a sophomore and scored a 29. As a junior I took the test twice and scored another 29 (sometime in the Spring) and a 33 (summer test). I didn't take the test again after that.

My weakness on the test was the math portion. The trick to the math section is to forget everything you know about math tests. It sounds counterintuitive but most high school students are trained that the process of solving the problem is more important than the answer itself (IE, on an exam your teacher will give you partial credit for an incorrect answer if you did the correct work, but plugged a wrong number in somewhere). The ACT on the other hand is completely unconcerned with the process. What does this mean to you?

You can save a lot of time and wrong answers by actually not working the problems and instead plug the given answers into the equation you need to solve and voila! Answer.

Realizing that was the crucial difference for me in terms of raising my score four points.

Another important consideration is the English comprehension section of the test. If I remember correctly, the format of the section is mostly based on reading a section and choosing the correct summary or inserting a sentence, phrase or word which is both grammatically correct and makes sense in context.
Frequently you will be given multiple options which are all grammatically and contextually correct, so you have to choose the best answer. The best answer is always the most simple answer in these cases.

I doubt this advice will raise your score to a 34, but you can definitely make significant gains. A friend of my younger brother raised her score from a 28 to a 32 a week after I gave her this advice.

If you are taking the test with the writing option, I advise you know and master the basic five paragraph essay and understand how to make a simple, logical case for whatever stance you choose to take.

"No man is and isle unto himself" can be used as an opening quote to 90% of essay questions on standardized tests.
Python
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 10:05PM - in reply to Python Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Focus matters a lot for these exams. Make sure you sleep well two nights before and the night before the exam. You should probably eat something light for breakfast the day of the exam, but not enough to make you sleepy.
igotshot
RE: Raise my ACT score from 24 to 34 8/15/2010 10:05PM - in reply to Make it Happen Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Also, enlisting in the military really is not that bad.

And no, I didn't really get shot.