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Old 03-25-08, 12:13 PM   #1
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Standardized Testing (ACT) help...

Hello everyone,

I'm currently a Junior in high school, and I have taken the ACT twice. The first time I took it was to see what I need to work on, and the score was 19. February of this year I took it again, and I received a 20. This is after reading over an ACT prep book and practicing.The score I wish to have is at least 25+.

So heres the question. I know there are many students here, how did you prepare for such a test? I know most of the information, but when I get to take the test I completely blank out and I have a hard time remembering all the information. Mathematics is the main subject that I forget formulas and things in that nature.

English, reading, and science I seem to do well on, but not math
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Old 03-25-08, 05:33 PM   #2
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I ordered a Kaplan CD for both SAT and ACT. Pretty good practice tests. But from my experience the ACT was MUCH harder than the SAT. Sat, whew, I could finish a section with plenty of time to spare. The ACT was down to the wire. I have the CDs if you would like them. I have no need for them anymore, but I think they helped.
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Old 03-25-08, 05:47 PM   #3
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I ordered a Kaplan CD for both SAT and ACT. Pretty good practice tests. But from my experience the ACT was MUCH harder than the SAT. Sat, whew, I could finish a section with plenty of time to spare. The ACT was down to the wire. I have the CDs if you would like them. I have no need for them anymore, but I think they helped.
Thanks for the input. I read that the ACT changes from year to year, but older tests wouldn't hurt. I have a huge prep book that I am fairly close to finishing and I also have a CD. I did the math portion of the practice test today for the second time today. At first I missed a lot, after reading over my mistakes I took it again several hours later and only missed 3 out of 60. Now if only this could happen on the actual ACT
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Old 03-25-08, 06:25 PM   #4
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just practice as many tests as you can. They are all similar. After you see a dozen or so tests you know what they are going for.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:27 PM   #5
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Just make sure you understand at least basic algebra. Find a book with an ACT study guide, there are usually practice problems in there. You've just got to practice that type of problem again and again.

Just out of curiosity, why do need >25? These standardized tests are one small step above meaningless, enough so that there is a growing understanding that these tests are a dubious way of predicting success in college.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:31 PM   #6
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When I was applying to colleges most of them wanted an ACT of >25 or SAT >1200. This was before the SAT's were out of 2400.

He probably wants this because of something regarding acceptance or scholarships/financial aid.

I agree that they place to much emphasis on standardized tests but you have to give them what they ask for.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:51 PM   #7
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To answer the questions phantomcow, Jynx is correct. I am hoping to go Penn State, and the requirement for engineering is 28 on the ACT I believe. I know my parents nor I can afford the full tuition, so I need scholarships.
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Old 03-25-08, 07:18 PM   #8
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If you don't get accepted to Penn state, I would recommend going to another school and transferring in. Standardized test scores are not required for most transfers.
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Old 03-25-08, 07:57 PM   #9
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If you don't get accepted to Penn state, I would recommend going to another school and transferring in. Standardized test scores are not required for most transfers.
What do you mean 'transferring in' if I do not get accepted?
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Old 03-25-08, 08:12 PM   #10
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Do a year or two in a Junior College, get an Associates Degree and keep the GPA in the stratosphere. You don't have to take the ACT or SAT and get the high scores. You get a lot of your prerequisites done a lot cheaper, and as long as your Junior College is accredited properly, like NCA Accreditation, your credits will transfer.
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Old 03-25-08, 08:28 PM   #11
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Do a year or two in a Junior College, get an Associates Degree and keep the GPA in the stratosphere. You don't have to take the ACT or SAT and get the high scores. You get a lot of your prerequisites done a lot cheaper, and as long as your Junior College is accredited properly, like NCA Accreditation, your credits will transfer.
So by doing this I am able to transfer into a University?
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Old 03-25-08, 08:52 PM   #12
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Another option would be to start at Penn State in another college, i.e. Liberal Arts. Then once you establish a good GPA you can switch majors.

I have a couple friends who started at the University of Illinois in the college of agriculture simply because the entrance requirements were easier. Then after the first semester they changed majors.

In regards to the ACT, take your time completing the math you know how to do. If you see a problem that you have no idea how to complete there is no sense spending time stewing about it. You will only frustrate yourself and that will throw off the rest of the test. Remember, there is no penalty for guessing on the ACT. Your score is determined by the total number of correct answers.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:07 PM   #13
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Another option would be to start at Penn State in another college, i.e. Liberal Arts. Then once you establish a good GPA you can switch majors.

I have a couple friends who started at the University of Illinois in the college of agriculture simply because the entrance requirements were easier. Then after the first semester they changed majors.

In regards to the ACT, take your time completing the math you know how to do. If you see a problem that you have no idea how to complete there is no sense spending time stewing about it. You will only frustrate yourself and that will throw off the rest of the test. Remember, there is no penalty for guessing on the ACT. Your score is determined by the total number of correct answers.
Thanks. I am seeing improvement on the practice tests I am doing. I will see how well i do April 12th, after that I will have to decide what to do.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:11 PM   #14
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Have you tried the SAT? Maybe you'll do better at that.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:17 PM   #15
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Have you tried the SAT? Maybe you'll do better at that.
I was thinking of taking it. I will take the ACT in April, then after that decide if I shall take it or not(SAT).
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Old 03-25-08, 09:22 PM   #16
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One thing I always did was cram those formulas in your brain and as soon as the test starts I would scribble them out on the paper. Then, as a question came up I always had a reference. Worked for me.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:24 PM   #17
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One thing I always did was cram those formulas in your brain and as soon as the test starts I would scribble them out on the paper. Then, as a question came up I always had a reference. Worked for me.
Hmm..good idea. I'll remember that.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:28 PM   #18
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Another option would be to start at Penn State in another college, i.e. Liberal Arts. Then once you establish a good GPA you can switch majors.
I used to teach at Penn State. They aren't very flexible when it comes to switching majors so it is not a good idea to assume that you will be able to do so.

There aren't many options in PA though.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:32 PM   #19
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Yes you can begin studies at another accredited school. Take a year of classes, get your crappy classes out of the way, and transfer into another school. THis means you apply as a transfer student, which means no standardized testing scores. Also, your college transcript is much more important than your high school transcript; academic success in college will greatly overshadow academic failure in high school.
Everything you took at whatever other school you went to will transfer credit for credit. So, if you took the basic freshman English class at, for example, UNH, then you wouldn't need to take it at Penn state.

FWI, I was rejected from Hampshire College due to sub par academic achievement. So I've been at UNH for a year, building up an academic track record, and then re applying as a transfer.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:34 PM   #20
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Yep, that's the route I'm going right now.

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So by doing this I am able to transfer into a University?
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Old 03-25-08, 10:01 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the input guys. This sure clears up a lot of confusion that has been rumbling in my head. I will try to get in at first. If that doesn't work, then I'll just have to be a transfer student.
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Old 03-26-08, 04:33 AM   #22
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Hey, it'll actually save you some money. You'll also get the prereqs done there and then there's the smaller class size as well. At a large Uni like Penn State, the classes will be a LOT bigger.

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Thanks for all the input guys. This sure clears up a lot of confusion that has been rumbling in my head. I will try to get in at first. If that doesn't work, then I'll just have to be a transfer student.
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Old 03-26-08, 12:38 PM   #23
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Hey, it'll actually save you some money. You'll also get the prereqs done there and then there's the smaller class size as well. At a large Uni like Penn State, the classes will be a LOT bigger.
I've been reading about the class sizes
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Old 03-26-08, 05:02 PM   #24
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So by doing this I am able to transfer into a University?
Yes. That's one of the major functions of a community/junior college. They're easier to get into and less expensive to attend than a university, and once you've proven yourself there, universities generally let you transfer in with minimum fuss and bother. The degree you eventually get from the university is just the same as if you'd started at the university as a freshman, and you won't be as deeply in debt. Just make sure that the college is properly accredited and offers the courses you need for your major.
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Old 03-26-08, 05:13 PM   #25
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Yes. That's one of the major functions of a community/junior college. They're easier to get into and less expensive to attend than a university, and once you've proven yourself there, universities generally let you transfer in with minimum fuss and bother. The degree you eventually get from the university is just the same as if you'd started at the university as a freshman, and you won't be as deeply in debt. Just make sure that the college is properly accredited and offers the courses you need for your major.
Just as I thought. I plan on getting a job this summer, and working throughout the year. I should be able to pay for part of my tuition so it doesn't put to much stress on my parents.
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