Improving ACT Test Scores

Challenging Courses and Test Prep Can Help Improve ACT Scores

One of the most commonly asked questions of ACT is “how do my students improve their scores?” The simple answer is have them take challenging courses and test prep.

Because the ACT tests what students learn in high school, the best way for them to prepare is to take core classes, study, and participate in class. In last month’s newsletter, we shared the importance of rigorous coursework in preparing students to take the ACT test. Research shows that students in the graduating class of 2017 who completed a core curriculum achieved an average ACT Composite score of 22.1, while students who took less than the core curriculum had an average ACT Composite score of 18.9.

When students need additional support, test prep programs can help. Test prep can be used to familiarize students with the format and questions of the test, develop test taking strategies, and identify areas where additional learning is necessary. ACT test prep programs and resources include full-length practice tests, expert advice, and learning tools that achieve these ends.

“While test preparation may not lead to large score increases, it can be helpful. Students who are familiar with the assessment, have taken practice tests, understand the instructions and have engaged in thoughtful review and preparation tend to be less anxious and more successful than those who haven’t,” said Wayne Camara, Ph.D., Horace Mann Research Chair, ACT.

ACT offers several free and affordable test prep solutions:

  • ACT® Official Prep Pack—Combines the Official ACT Prep Guide 2018 with ACT Online Prep
  • ACT® Online Prep—A mobile and online resource to help students be ready and confident to take the ACT® test, featuring real questions from previous tests, personalized learning paths, daily goals, and a game center
  • ACT® Kaplan® Rapid Review—Engaging instruction and interactive help delivered in real time by expert instructors, who are available for support outside classroom hours
  • The Official ACT Prep Guide—The only test prep book from the makers of the ACT test, features three practice tests, explanations of answers, and test taking strategies
  • ACT Academy—A free online learning tool and test practice program designed to help students
  • Free Test Prep—Study guides, practice for each subject test, daily test questions, and general tips