Archive for the ‘ACT’ Category


Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

OK. So here’s what we know:

1) Colleges don’t care which test you take; both tests are accepted equally.

2) The two tests test much of the same material; in fact, the material being tested is more alike than it is different.

3) The majority of students will score “similarly” on the two tests; in other words, you’ll be unique if you do well on the SAT and poorly on the ACT, or vice versa.

So…. which one?


The ACT’s Test Information Release (TIR)

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

The ACT folks offer a Test Information Release (TIR) service for three of the six testing dates. For $18 you receive a copy of the test booklet, a list of your answers, the answer key, and scoring instructions. If you took the Writing Test, you also receive a copy of the writing prompt, the scoring rubric, and the two scores assigned to your essay. In my case, I received this 6-7 weeks after the December 11th test date.

So, is it worth it?


December 2010 ACT Results

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Well…. as I (somewhat ;-)) expected:

English – 32 (a decrease of 1 compared to September 2009)

Mathematics – 35 (increase of 3)

Reading – 33 (same)

Science – 31 (increase of 6)

Composite Score – 33 (99th percentile!!)


December 2010 ACT

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

I took the ACT for a second time yesterday with an eye toward improving my scores 😉 and, as always, learning more about the test so that I can pass on thoughts and advice to those of you for whom the test really matters. The last time I took it, I had little idea as to what to expect, so this time I was more prepared and the experience was quite different. Allow me to share in the hopes that you’ll learn a few things to help you.


“How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” – Part 2

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

As I mentioned in my last post, this book, “How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” is made up of quotations from students who took the tests (and, in many cases, did quite well). We all know that you can learn a lot from someone who’s actually “been there,” so it’s definitely worth reading.

In this post, I’m sharing what I learned from the book when it comes to the SAT versus the ACT. Keep in mind that almost all colleges (including the Ivy’s) accept either equally, so it’s important to know both so that you can pick the one that works best for you. One you’ve done that, you can focus your efforts.


“How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” – Part 1

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I ran across the book “How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” at my library and decided to check it out. The book is essentially a compilation of quotations from students who took the SAT and/or the ACT – thoughts, suggestions, hints, tips, etc. – arranged into topical chapters. It’s an excellent book – very easy (and quick!) to read and very poignant. I’ll share some general findings in this post, some ACT vs. SAT findings in my next post, and then some SAT-specific findings in a third post.

(Please, do not consider what I’m posting here and in the next two posts to be in any way all there is in this book; there’s a lot of information, and it’s all very good. I’m simply sharing some general findings that I think are particularly relevant.)


The Importance of Practice

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

One of my SAT Math students, Michael, took the November SAT and just found out that he scored a 670 on the Math portion!!!

We worked together for just about a month (10 hours) and our goal was a 650, which was 110 points above his June score of 540. I think it’s safe to say that we both had a big smile on our faces. 🙂

What made the difference? Practice.


My ACT Scores

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Boy do scores come back fast thanks to the internet and computers (which weren’t around in the early-80s :-))!

English – 33 (out of 36)

Mathematics – 32

Reading – 33

Science – 25

Composite Score – 31 (97th percentile)

(Not bad for a first time! :-D)


My first ACT

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Yesterday, I took the ACT!

It was my first time taking the ACT (I took the SAT three times in high school), and it was quite an experience. Looking past the fact that I was a 43-year-old (gray hair and all :-)) with absolutely no pressure, allow me to share some thoughts; perhaps you can learn a few things from my experience.