SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and TipsIf you're a great student but not as great hiyh standardized test taker, don't worry: You should not simply compare your ACT scores to your friend's score or classmates' low test scores high gpa. The ACT score you want should depend on which university you hope to attend. If you score at the scored percentile for a college and have a high GPA, you deca durabolin oral steroids an excellent chance of being accepted. However, if you're at the 25th percentile, you will need to have a strong application to increase your chances of being accepted.
High GPA but Low ACT Score: What Do You Do?
If you're a great student but not as great a standardized test taker, don't worry: You should not simply compare your ACT scores to your friend's score or classmates' scores. The ACT score you want should depend on which university you hope to attend.
If you score at the 75th percentile for a college and have a high GPA, you have an excellent chance of being accepted. However, if you're at the 25th percentile, you will need to have a strong application to increase your chances of being accepted.
To have the best shot of getting in, you want to get a high ACT score to go along with you high GPA, and a high ACT score is one that is at or above the 75th percentile for the colleges you hope to attend. If your score is below the 25th percentile for the school you hope to attend, you may still have a chance of getting in. This means they will combine your highest individual section scores from each ACT and recombine it into a new superscored composite ACT score.
For example, if you took the ACT 3 times and your best English score was on your 1st test date 33 , your best Math score was on your 2nd test date 31 , and your best Critical Reading and Science scores were from your 3rd test date 36, 36 , you can combine those 4 best section scores into a brand new composite score For further explanation of superscore and for a list of the college that superscore the ACT, see our other article: Colleges that Superscore ACT: Your transcript is the most important part of your college application because it shows that you have worked hard during all four years of high school.
However, highly competitive universities such as Harvard and Yale will want you to have an even higher GPA, in the 3. While your GPA is important, it is even more important that you took challenging classes in high school and still got a high GPA. The most important credential that enables us to evaluate your academic record is the high school transcript.
Easy classes and a high GPA will not impress an admissions officer. I will explain this more in-depth below. Admissions offices require applicants to take the ACT because they see this test as an equalizer among applicants click here for further explanation of why students take the ACT.
Each applicant had a different high school education. Even students applying from the same high school may have taken different classes or had different instructors. They may think that your low ACT score is a better signifier of how prepared you are for higher education. To be perfectly frank, an admissions officer will probably, at first, think that your teacher inflated your grades or that you chose to take easy high school classes, and they may wonder if your low ACT score is a more accurate indicator of your academic potential.
Admissions officers will dig deeper. Most admissions officers know the high schools in the US very well. At the majority of colleges, each admissions officer is assigned a state or region, and he or she is responsible for reading all of the applications from students in that area and for visiting the high schools in that area so, if your high school had a visitor talk about admissions at a specific college - that person will most likely be reading your application for that college.
Since the admissions officers visit these high schools and read the applications from students at these high schools, they know the academic reputations of these high schools. The admissions officers will know if your high school is considered very academically rigorous or if your school has a reputation for being easy and inflating grades.
When reading your transcript, an admissions officer will be able to tell if you chose to take the easier classes and avoided the AP or IB classes that your school offered if your school offers AP or IB. If you did take the easier classes, the admissions officer will likely then think your low ACT is a more accurate depiction of your academic potential than your GPA. If you did enroll in very rigorous courses throughout high school tons of AP or IB classes, if offered at your high school and you have a high GPA, then the admissions officer will know that and may excuse your low ACT score.
Raising your score on your low ACT score will give you your best chance of getting into your target school. If you are applying right now and don't have time to retest, skip below for advice on what you can do to boost your chance of admission.
If you never practiced for the ACT, that is probably the issue. The ACT is a very fast test. I would recommend taking a minimum of four full-length, timed practice tests to ensure you have the pacing down. When you sit for multiple practice ACTs, you will start to feel comfortable with the format and will learn how to pace yourself. Do not just take the practice ACTs and forget about them. If you practice by yourself, what tests are you using for your practice?
You need to practice with official past ACT tests. If you are using old ACTs for your solo study, are you checking your wrong answers? This is the key to success on the ACT: If you do not, you will not learn anything from the tests and you will continue making the same mistakes. You have some options if you need to submit your applications and think you do not have time to retest: You can strengthen the rest of your college application.
Focus on the positives! You have an awesome transcript, so try to make the rest of your application as awesome. Read our other article for advice on how to build the most versatile college application, including advice on writing your essay, getting letters of recommendation, and more.
Consider applying to some of those schools, at least as backups. Check out schools with late deadlines. Some schools take applications as late as September for that fall semester. Consider retesting and applying to some of these schools. Taking the ACT very soon? Read our guide to cramming for the test. Not sure where you want to go to college? Check out our guide to finding your target school. Thinking about getting a job while in high school?
Disappointed with your ACT scores? Download our free guide to the top 5 strategies you need in your prep to improve your ACT score dramatically. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.
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What ACT target score should you be aiming for? What Do You Do? Posted by Dora Seigel Dec 13, 6: What Was Your Practice Approach? You have not learned the strategies for the ACT or gotten the timing down. To help solve this issue, you should check out the other free guides offered here at PrepScholar. You aren't familiar with the math and English concepts needed to succeed ACT. You do not have the geometry formulas memorized , or you do not know the grammar rules.
If you feel like you know the strategies and content and are still not improving, you may be having trouble focusing. To help solve this issue, you probably need more personalized prep and should consider hiring a tutor or using an online resource such as PrepScholar.
Your help is not personalized to your needs. We do the heavy lifting for you, by splitting up our prep material into specific skills. We'll detect your weaknesses automatically and give you focused lessons and quizzes to improve those skills.
You may have test anxiety. As a tutor, I saw this in some students. While all of the studying learning the test format and pacing should help reduce your worry, it may not solve the problem entirely.
Also, maybe meditate to try to relax you before the ACT. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks: Ask a Question Below Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply! Search the Blog Search. Customize your test prep for maximum results. Want General Expert Advice? Our hand-selected experts help you in a variety of other topics! Looking for Graduate School Test Prep? Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here: Get the latest articles and test prep tips!