Tips for the ACT from a perfect scorer

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The ACT official logo

Kate Roberts, North Staff Writer

Every year, thousands of students wake up early on a Saturday morning to take the ACT, which stands for American College Testing. The average ACT score for Edmond North is estimated to be 24.5. While this is an improvement from the national average of 23.7, many students still wish to improve their scores. A high score on the ACT can increase chances for admission into selective universities and open up scholarship opportunities. The score is out of 36, and the test is made up of four sections: Reading, English, Mathematics and Science.   

In July, Edmond North Senior Erin Carter became one of the .136% of ACT takers to get a perfect 36. While many resources exist to help individuals raise their score, it’s best to seek advice from those who have conquered the ACT themselves. Carter has several pieces of advice for students wishing to improve their scores.

“I don’t do prep class, or read prep books,” Carter said. “I’ve found the best way to practice is using actual ACT tests from former test dates I found online. This way you know what you’re practicing is the real thing, and not a waste of time. Be sure to time yourself properly and really focus on your mistakes.”

Carter also has tips for each individual section. Many students find themselves excelling in some sections but struggling in others, causing their average to fall.

“On the English section, don’t bother trying to understand the whole of the story, because you don’t need to,” Carter said. “Just look at each individual sentence, and you can find what you need to answer the question. For the Math, be sure to review old math like Trigonometry and Geometry. On the practice tests, take notice of concepts that come up often and be sure to review those. On the Reading, there are a variety of methods. Try skimming the questions first, and if that doesn’t work for you, find something that will. On the Science, don’t be overwhelmed by all of the words, and mostly focus on the graphs and axes. The information you need is somewhere on the page, and it’s your job to find it.”

While prep books and classes weren’t the best method for Carter, they may be helpful for other students. Edmond North has its very own ACT prep class, which lasts a semester. AP English Literature teacher Teri Walls is in charge of the English section, Math teacher geometry Pamela Riley is in charge of the math section and biology teacher Zachary Hemans is in charge of the science and reading sections.

Edmond North Senior Mena Suddock took North’s ACT prep class her junior year and was able to raise her score five points.

“The class helped me immensely in raising my score. We started the semester in August with a baseline test, and I got a 21,” Suddock said. “I really struggled in English, and needed a review in math. In October, when I took the official ACT for the first time, I got a 25. Then after the whole semester I took the April ACT and got a 30.”

For students wishing to retake the ACT or take it for the first time, be sure to register for the December 8th ACT test date by November 2nd. If you are struggling to raise your score, consider North’s ACT prep class, or taking the SAT as some students perform better on that test. More dates, resources, and information can be found on the ACT website

If you have any questions, you can contact me at [email protected]