As a nationally sought after test prep expert specializing in the ACT test, I have seen and heard it all. From low scores to high scores to numerous success stories, I know the test prep path is not the same for every student. I have assisted students from California to Connecticut—and states in between—to reach their personal ACT goals. Let me clear up some of the biggest myths when it comes to the ACT test.
- “The ACT is for students who are better at math and science.”
There is much debate about what makes the ACT and SAT so different. I have a blog that outlines the differences (click here). Although I am partial to the ACT as I have cracked the code to help students reach better scores, many students find success with the SAT. I would argue that the best way to tell which test a student will be better at is to have he/she take both and see which is preferred. There is no test better for a student due to a preference in subject areas.
- “They give easier ACT tests at inner city schools.”
Wrong. This rumor is wrong on so many levels… I won’t even start to address this one. The answer is simply, “No, they do not.”
- “I think I will have my child take the ACT for the first time December of their senior year. They need all of the content from senior year to do well, right?”
This comment is not as common as the others, thankfully. However, my suggestion is that students take ACT and SAT towards the end of their tenth grade year to gauge which test they prefer. For both ACT and SAT, there is little beyond Algebra II on the math section. The science, English and reading content has NO correlation to content that students will have beyond their sophomore year in high school.
- “My college will take the highest of all of my scores from each time I test, right?”
This is called Superscoring. However, not all colleges and universities will superscore. If they do, you can use your highest portion of any test that you have taken. If a school DOES NOT superscore, you will have to submit your highest composite score, which is the average of all four sections of the ACT test. Please consult your intended school to see if they will superscore.
- “I heard you can only increase your score 3 points over your first try.”
FALSE. False. False. It is true that the ACT Company claims that students can only raise 3 points but through my 8 years of test prep I have seen most of my students raise more than that. I have had students raise their score as many as 14 composite points from their starting score. With an individualized test prep plan, direct instruction, timing strategies and repeated practice a student can turn their score around. These score improvements help students in a variety of ways: allow acceptance into more schools, help them earn automatic merit scholarships and make them a more likely candidate for other scholarships.
If you have other questions about the ACT test or ACT test preparations, please feel free to reach out to me via my website: www.jenhensonactprep.com.
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Jen Henson ( a.k.a “The GOAL DIGGER”) is a nationally sought after test prep expert specializing in the ACT test. Jen, who was Winton Woods City School’s (OH) Teacher of the Year in 2014, holds a Master of Education degree with a Bachelor’s in English from Xavier University—where she was a walk-on tennis player. She’s taught 21 years and coached ACT prep for over 7 years– and has an army of teachers trained to assist her requests for tutorials. Her former ACT students now attend notable higher learning institutions, including Notre Dame, The Ohio State University, Texas A&M, The Naval Academy, and the University of Kentucky—among others.
Jen has assisted students from California to Connecticut—and states in between—to reach their personal ACT goals. No score is too low or too high, as she has doubled the scores of students starting at the low end, in addition to helping initially higher scoring students achieve the coveted 36 on every section of the test. Two young men playing D1 football had a composite score of a 9 originally, and scored 18 and 20 (respectively) after working with her. Two of her former clients now have NFL experience.
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