Your student's ACT score could be worth thousands of dollars in tuition waivers.
Perhaps you know that you can earn a "full ride" award from the University of Oklahoma for your excellent ACT score, but did you know that you can increase your tuition waiver from $8,000 to $16,000 by taking your ACT score from a 27 to a 31? That's $2,000 per point!
Think that's not feasible? Think again.
I have long held that any student who can score a 26 or 27 with no assistance can certainly score a 31 with the help of a good tutor. In fact, I consistently see increases of 3-4 points from my students with just 8 hours of ACT instruction or 5-6 points with additional hours.
Increase your score by understanding ACT
The ACT is not simply a test of a student's knowledge. In fact, students with 4.0 GPAs often struggle mightily with ACT. It's not enough to have a solid knowledge base; you must also understand the test.
ACT is a mean test. It forces you to race against the clock, making you more prone to mistakes. It is replete with tricky questions, specifically designed to confuse you. It purposely draws you to wrong answers. It uses your grammar knowledge against you on the English test. It presents problems in a confusing way on the Math test. It offers up boring passages to compel you to lose interest on the Reading test. It inundates you with terminology you have never encountered to befuddle you on the Science test. If you don't know ACT, of course you're going to struggle!
The good news is that once you do know ACT, you can see huge increases in your score!
So, how can you make such a difficult test less difficult? Simplify it.
Oftentimes, ACT attempts to bog you down in the details in order to confuse you and to make it difficult to finish on time. The Heritage approach focuses on high-level concepts to help make sure you don't get stuck in the mire. For instance, rather than focus on redundancy, overuse of commas, unnecessary asides, wordiness, etc., you should turn your focus to keeping things "short and sweet, clear and concise". Rather than spend six minutes trying to solve problem 60 on the math test, you should employ strategies (e.g. graphical problem-solving approaches) that can allow you to solve some of the most difficult problems in seconds.
It's important that you understand where (or whether) to invest your time, and you must know how to simplify complicated passages, how to bypass confusing rhetoric, and how to solve challenging math problems even when you're unfamiliar with the underlying principles or forget your formulas.
The brightest students can falter on ACT - it's designed to make you falter. The good news, though, is that, with the right tactics, you can excel on the ACT and get into the college of your choice.
- Randy Biggs
Owner, Heritage College Prep
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