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How to increase ACT score by 4 points?

When you have a stellar GPA and a great ACT score, the sky’s the limit for your future. You’ll have opportunities to attend prestigious colleges, earn thousands of dollars in scholarships, and join academic programs that will help you network and build connections that will help you on your career path.

But what do you do if your ACT score is not quite up to snuff? If you’re trying to earn a 34 or a 35, but you can’t seem to break out of the high 20’s, it does not mean that you need to throw in the towel.

There are plenty of steps you can take to increase your ACT score so that it is in your desired range.

Here are my top strategies and tips that can help you increase your ACT score by as many as 4 points:

Set a target score

It will be hard for you to improve your score on the ACT if you do not have a set score that you are trying to reach. Having a target score will help you gauge your progress as you study for the ACT so you can see whether or not you need to put in more time studying in order to reach your goal.

If you want to boost your score by 4 points, for instance, you should bank on studying for a couple of hours a day for at least 6-8 weeks. Once you have a target score in mind, you will have a better idea of how much work you will need to put in to accomplish your goal.

Make sure you check the prospective students pages of the websites for each of the colleges on your list and look at the College Board website to determine the average ACT scores for applicants applying to your top schools.

Schedule your test strategically

Taking the ACT more than once will give you the best chance of earning your target score, but when it comes to retaking the test, timing is everything. If you sign up for your next test a month after you took your last test, your chances of improving your score by 1 point, let alone 4, is slim to none. 

Doing well on the ACT will take time and effort, so you need to make sure you allow yourself plenty of study time between test administrations if you want to increase your ACT score.

Say you take the ACT in June between your junior and senior year of high school. By the time your scores are released and you get the chance to review what you missed, it will already be time for the July test administration. This will leave you with practically no time to sit down and learn from your mistakes so that you can improve your score. Instead of signing up for the next test administration, you should schedule your test for a couple of months down the road.

I recommend scheduling your tests so that you have enough time to study consistently for 3-4 hours a day for a few weeks. If you know your extracurricular activities, work schedule, or any other factors will prevent you from making this possible, schedule your next ACT for a later date.

Identify your weaknesses on the ACT

When soccer coaches want to help the players on their team improve before the start of the season, they do not give their strikers and their goalies the same advice. Each of them have different skills that they need to develop so they can be ready on game day. Likewise, after a tough game, coaches won’t tell two different players to work on improving the same skill. Each player will have made different mistakes during the game, so they will have different tasks to work on in order to grow as players.

In the same way, there is not always blanket advice to help you improve your score on the ACT. While some students might need to focus on time management and answering all of the questions within the limited timeframe in order to increase their score by 4 points, others might need to focus on mastering the content covered in the ACT Math section.

One of the first steps for improving your ACT score is to find out what aspects of the test or the test-taking experience are holding back your score. Did you ace the reading section, but struggle to make it through the science portion? Did you feel confident about the material covered in each section, but struggle to answer all of the questions in time?

Determine exactly what your weaknesses are on the test so you can work on addressing these weak areas and improving your performance on the ACT.

For each section of the ACT ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which types of questions were the easiest for me to answer?
  • Which types of questions were the most difficult for me to answer?
  • Which topics did I not understand during this section?
  • Did I run out of time while taking this section? If not, how much time did I have remaining after answering all of the questions?
  • What did I find confusing about this section?
  • Were there any questions I wasn’t prepared to answer in this section?

Asking these questions will help you pinpoint the specific weak areas you need to work on as you study for the ACT.

Review every single question

If you don’t take time to review the questions you missed or the ones where you guessed in order to find out exactly what you did wrong the first time around, you are going to be doomed to make the same mistakes again on your next test. This will keep you from being able to improve and reach your target score.

Review your ACT score reports and look carefully over any questions you miss when you take practice tests. See exactly why the correct answer is correct and why the answer you chose was wrong so that you can make sure to get that type of question correct the next time you take the test. When you carefully review every question, you will be sure to do better when you retake the ACT.

Enroll in an ACT prep course

Enrolling in an ACT prep course is one of the best ways to make sure that you improve your ACT score. 

Prep classes are taught by experienced instructors who know everything there is to know about the ACT, and they can help you master both the content and the strategies you need to succeed on the test and improve your score. 

When you take an ACT prep course through Prep Expert, you will gain invaluable tips, strategies, and practice, all with a score improvement guarantee. Our 6-Week Flagship ACT Prep Course comes with a 4-Point ACT Score Improvement Guarantee or your money back!

Learn more about how our ACT prep course can help you improve your score or enroll in our course today when you visit our website.

Prep Expert

Written by Prep Expert

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