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Want A Higher Score On The ACT Test?
I’ve got a perfect score on the ACT Test (top .5% of test-takers) and I’ve taught hundreds of ACT tutoring students how to get a higher score on the ACT too.
In all that time preparing, I’ve learned more than a few things about getting a higher score on the ACT. And, I’ve had the opportunity to teach that critical info to many high school students just like yourself.
Now, I’m excited to bring you a brand-new article guaranteed to raise your ACT test score.
If you’re looking for ACT test prep, you’re in the right place. Here are 8 tips that will help you raise your ACT scores. Read on!
1. Know Your Weaknesses on the ACT Test.
The first step of good ACT test prep is identifying your biggest areas for improvement. Then you’ll need to invest the time, study, and practice to get better at whatever is holding you back.
The first key to that, of course, is to actually know what you need to work on - and real ACT test scores are the best way to do that.
Previous ACT test scores are a guide to your strong and weak points on the ACT test. Carefully study your ACT score report to understand exactly what sections hurt your overall score the most.
If you don’t have any official ACT scores as a reference, a full-length practice ACT test under timed conditions can be the perfect diagnostic. Take your practice ACT seriously, because your scores will affect your major decisions about what to study.
2. Master Each Section of the ACT Test.
Once you know your strengths and weaknesses with each section of the ACT test, it’s time to sit down and study until you master every section. Without investing personal study time, there’s no way to get a higher score on the ACT test.
Treat each section as an independent goal to conquer. Just because you’re struggling in ACT Math doesn’t mean you’ll have a hard time with ACT Reading. Focus most of your attention on your weakest sections. No problem is too big to overcome! Identify your weaknesses and use the power of study and practice to overcome them.
Here are some free articles to get you started prepping each of the 5 sections of the ACT Test:
- The Complete Guide to ACT English
- Top ACT Math Tips from a Pro ACT Tutor
- How to Get a Perfect Score on the ACT Reading Section
- Top ACT Science Section Tips
- Top 9 ACT Essay Tips
Start with those articles, then move on to practice and study with the Official ACT Prep Book.
Check out our online course store for our deepest strategy guides to the ACT test and more!
3. Commit to Extra Free Reading and Vocabulary.
It’s like I’ve said to hundreds of SAT and ACT prep students in the past. if you’re serious about your academic performance, then you’ll set aside time for challenging personal reading - above and beyond what they’re assigning you in high school.
The benefits of free-reading are enormous: better vocabulary, faster reading speed, more reading confidence, better endurance for long reading assignments, and greater flexibility when it comes to reading different types of ACT test material. You’ll get better at skimming skills to get the main ideas without wasting time, and close-reading skills for when you need to find important details. This can also help you learn to take better notes in high school.
Plus, you’ll be doing a lot of reading in college. You’ll need to be a fast and efficient reader. And, the college reading material will be more difficult than what you’re given in high school - plus there’s more of it. If you’re not up to speed on your critical reading skills, you can expect to struggle for your first few years of college.
They say that the most financially successful people tend to read an hour or more per day, even as adults! The time to start that habit is in high school.
Check out our recommended reading lists for high school students if you need some suggestions for books to get started with!
4. Take Practice ACT Tests.
If you’ve read many of our other articles on ACT prep, you’ll know that I’m big on classic advice. Practice makes perfect. And you better believe, the top ACT scores come with a lot of practice tests.
You can easily score your practice ACT at home using the scoring tables at the back of the book. This will also help you find your weak spots, in addition to giving you invaluable practice with the content of the ACT test. It will also help reduce your testing anxiety, if you have any.
Taking full-length, timed practice ACT tests also gives you the chance to build up your endurance. It’s hard to fully appreciate how grueling a full-length ACT is until you’ve taken several of them.
From my own point of view, it took me 12 practice tests before I got my first perfect ACT score. So, I’m not very sympathetic to students who want a great ACT score but don’t want to put in the practice!
5. Schedule Multiple Official ACT Test Dates.
It’s important to schedule multiple official ACT Test dates - just like it’s important to take multiple practice tests.
The extra chances are like “extra lives” in a video game! If you want a higher score on the ACT Test, you definitely want multiple chances to take the test.
I recommend a minimum of 3 official ACT tests if you want a really high score on the ACT. These tests should be spread out across Junior and Senior year of high school.
You might take up to a max of 5 official ACT tests in high school. I wouldn’t recommend more than that. Instead, use practice ACT tests to get ready. When you feel prepared (and your practice ACT scores are predictably high) - then, and only then, take your real ACT tests.
This is another reason to start your ACT test prep as soon as possible. When you think about it, you see that it can take many months to find the time for all this ACT practice and official testing!
6. Consider Taking the SAT Test.
It’s important to know the differences between the SAT test and the ACT test. You should also understand if the ACT test is easier than the SAT test.
The two tests are about 80% similar, and just 20% different. So, preparing for one test will help you prepare for the other.
Practice SAT tests are a great way to get a feel for the difference between the two tests. Get the Official SAT Study Book and take a full-length, timed practice SAT test at home. Then score it, and use an SAT-ACT Score Conversion Chart to compare your results. Also think about your experience of the two tests. Do you feel like one test might be better than the other?
When it comes to picking between the ACT test and the SAT test, trust your gut. But, back it up with some experience - and make sure to read our other articles on picking between the SAT and ACT tests.
7. Find A Great ACT Test Prep Tutor.
Full disclosure - I’m a professional ACT prep tutor. So of course I think (or rather, I know) that it’s smart to find a great ACT prep tutor if you want to get a higher score on the ACT test.
But, it makes sense - doesn’t it? A great ACT prep tutor is someone who’s going to be able to walk you through the same steps they took to get a perfect ACT score. And, they’ll be awesome at explaining the concepts you don’t understand. A great ACT tutor will also teach you concepts you didn’t even know existed.
For example, an ACT prep tutor can help you master those terrible-seeming logarithms and trigonometry problems on the ACT Math section. Or, you can work together to tweak your ACT Essay for a better score.
Great ACT prep tutors have tons of experience teaching high school students how to find their weak spots on the ACT test - and better yet, to improve those weak spots for a higher ACT score.
8. Have A Specific Plan for Your College Applications (and Life Goals).
All this ACT test prep should be taking you somewhere. Make sure it’s somewhere you want to go.
Take it from me - at a ripe old 29 years old - what matters most is finding your passion in life, and spending all your time and energy pursuing it.
People don’t say this often enough, especially in education: the only purpose of college is to enable you to lead the life you want to live.
If you don’t have a clear plan - starting in high school, proceeding to college, and moving on to your career in your 20s and 30s - then your ACT prep will never be as effective as it could be.
Why? Because if you don’t know what’s driving you to do all the hard work of ACT prep, then you probably won’t reach your highest possible ACT score. It’s as simple as that.
It’s great to have the goal of getting a higher ACT score. But, even better is to get clear on what you want to do with your life. It’s very important to be working towards something you care deeply about… something more than money or prestige (those things can be good, too!)
A Quick Review of How to Get A Higher ACT Test Score.
The steps of good ACT test prep are simple, they just aren’t easy. You can get a higher ACT test score if you just do the following:
- Develop a clearer set of goals for your life, college, and career - so you have a reason to study.
- Use practice ACT tests to get your baseline ACT score.
- Study your ACT scores and determine your weaknesses.
- Check out our course store for our deepest strategy guides to the ACT Test.
- Use independent study and ACT prep tutoring to learn the information you lack.
- Practice with the Official ACT Prep Book and full-length timed practice tests.
- Take multiple official ACT Tests until you reach your highest score.
Like I said, simple - not easy. Be one of the rare students who can set goals and study independently. The hours you put into your ACT test prep will reward you with higher ACT scores.
More importantly, you’ll have access to better colleges and scholarships. And, by sticking to your personal goals, you’ll lead a better, happier, and more fulfilling life.
Contact Us For Higher ACT Test Scores Today!
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Contact us today with any questions you have about ACT test prep, or leave a comment for us below the article! Talk to you soon!