ACT Courses – American College Test
We provide a comprehensive service for college placement and entrance exam preparation including tailored services in Maths, English (Comprehension), Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning subsets through are experienced ACT Tutors. We can also assist with the application procedure as well as school open days and interview advice. An important part of the procedure is not only matching the child to a school where they will thrive academically but moreover to place them where the pupil will be happy and flourish.
What is the ACT?
The ACT is a standardized test used to determine the preparedness of High School students for college. The test is administered by non-profit association ACT and stands for American College Test. The ACT test covers four main academic areas including English, Reading, Mathematics and Scientific Reasoning and an optional fifth subject of Writing. The ACT is used by most American colleges and universities to determine the best candidates during admission seasons, with scores often determining whether or not a candidate is successful. The test is a multi-choice styled exam, where candidates must choose the correct answer across a series of questions in the core subjects mentioned above. The test is taken by approximately 1.29 million high school graduates annually and is used as a common data point when comparing multiple applicants for a limited amount of college places. These standardized test scores are reviewed during college admission points alongside high school GPAs that are formed over the course of a high school student’s career. Additional pieces of information such as letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities/ club participations, interviews and essays are all frequently used alongside the student’s ACT test scores. The importance of ACT test scores is dependent on the college that you intend to attend, and, in some cases, higher ACT scores can affect the costs of paying for college (through scholarship programmes). Our ACT tutors can assist with all aspects of the exam.
What subjects are in the ACT examination?
The ACT standardized test is 2hrs, 55 minutes long (with an additional 40 minutes for those candidates who opt to participate in the Writing section). The subject areas in the test are the core subjects, English, Maths, Science, Reading (and Writing).
What do the tests consist of?
English: The English portion of the ACT consists of 45 minutes and 75 multiple answer questions. The main focus for this portion is to measure your ability to correctly edit and rewrite short bodies of text across a wide genre of writing styles.
Mathematics: The maths portion of the ACT consists of 60 minutes and 60 multiple answer questions. The focus area of the maths portion is to garner your confidence in maths, testing content that would have been taught across the learner’s high school career.
Science: The Science portion of the ACT consists of 35 minutes and 40 multiple answer questions. The Science portion of the exam is designed to measure the candidate’s confidence across Biology, Chemistry and Physics, challenging analysis and reasoning abilities in the process.
Reading: The Reading section of the ACT is 35 minutes and 40 multiple answer questions, requiring candidates to apply attention to detail, reasoning and logic in reading texts from multiple genres and sources.
Writing: The Writing portion of the ACT is 40 minutes long as consists of a singular prompt. This area of the test is designed to test writing skills learnt across a student’s high school career and is an optional challenge.
What is the ACT pass mark?
Due to the structure of the American college admissions, there is no absolute pass mark when it comes to the ACT scores. Raw scores are first determined from the four core sections in the test, ranging from 1 to 36 and is based on the number of questions answered correctly in each section. After Raw scores are determined, your composite score is calculated, the average score over the past 3 years being a 20.7.
Average scores across sections include:
English: Average score – 20.1
Mathematics: Average score – 20.4
Reading: Average score – 21.2
Science: Average score – 20.6
Any scores above this are deemed above average and will enable your college application to stand out from the rest. This is particularly important for candidates seeking to apply to elite US universities including Cornell University, Stanford University, Princeton University and Harvard University.
Percentiles are used to compare the general averages across the candidates who sat the ACT during the same academic year as you. Percentiles are mirrored to percentages, in that if you are in the 20th percentile, you did 20% better than other candidates, whilst if you are in the 80th percentile, you succeeded at a higher rate than the 80% of other candidates. 50th -70th Percentile is viewed as average, with percentile scores in the 90th -95th percentile enabling you to stand out to elite colleges.
ACT Tutors – How do I prepare for the ACT?
Revising using past tests is the best strategy to follow when preparing for the ACT. Adopting the conditions of the real test is also a beneficial practice, enabling you to set your mindset to stay calm and confident under test conditions, after all, once you have done it once, it is usually easier the following times. Referring to any homework, past papers from class and workbooks from your most recent schooling year will enable you to keep your mid fresh on content learnt a few months ago; this is beneficial as a lot of the content within the ACT will be based around what you have been taught during your high school career (particularly Senior year). Identifying your strengths and areas for improvement will benefit your overall scores, enabling you to delegate more revision time for subject content that you are less confident on and to use a smaller amount of time to finesse your personal strengths. It is also important to remember that if you are stuck on a question, moving on and leaving it until later can benefit your confidence and flow during the exam, preventing self-doubt and panic. If all else fails, the questions are multiple-choice, meaning taking a guess will still give you a 25% chance of a correct answer.
If you would like to arrange ACT Tutors or university entrance consultancy or enquire about our schools placement service in England as well as schools entrance tests please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606 or you can send us an email via our contact form.