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  1. #1
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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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
    1978 Schwinn Varsity Single Speed

  2. #2
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ123 View Post
    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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  4. #4
    ..... Jynx's Avatar
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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.

  5. #5
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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    ..... Jynx's Avatar
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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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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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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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    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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  10. #10
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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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.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  11. #11
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    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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  12. #12
    Senior Member JMT114's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMT114 View Post
    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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  14. #14
    Your imaginary friend. fuzzbox's Avatar
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    Have you tried the SAT? Maybe you'll do better at that.

    Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

  15. #15
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzbox View Post
    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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  16. #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.

  17. #17
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warden11 View Post
    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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  18. #18
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMT114 View Post
    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.

  19. #19
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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  20. #20
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Yep, that's the route I'm going right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by russiankdi View Post
    So by doing this I am able to transfer into a University?
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  21. #21
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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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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  22. #22
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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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.

    Quote Originally Posted by russiankdi View Post
    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.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  23. #23
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    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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  24. #24
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russiankdi View Post
    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.

  25. #25
    Senior Member russiankdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
    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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