Many students are afraid of the ACT science section. We often hear reasons such as “I don’t want to take an extra section” or “Science is my weakest subject in school”. They think they have to master science to ace the ACT.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, you have to know what science is, but there is no way you can know everything. The ACT will pick material you have never heard of before.
What students don’t realize is that your approach to ACT science is really no different than your approach to reading comprehension!
If you are struggling with ACT Science, try improving your reading comprehension. What does reading comprehension have to do with science? Simply put, both sections have the same approach and same comprehension methods.
The Correlation: Structure.
Thesis vs. hypothesis; charts/graphs vs. body paragraphs; conclusion vs. well, the conclusion: Science experiments and reading passages have the same structure! It’s no surprise that a student who struggles with ACT science also struggles with ACT reading comprehension.
Improve your reading comprehension and you will ace the ACT. At Hillview Prep, our structural approach to reading comprehension and science, allows students to comprehend and classify material correctly more efficiently, ultimately improving pacing, accuracy, confidence—and scores.
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Are you ready for college?
The freshman year is the most academically challenging year for most college students, because the academic expectations at college is much higher than at the average high school. Colleges use a readiness assessment to gauge how well you’ve mastered certain subject areas during high school and how well you might do in those subjects during your first year of college.
The ACT test is one test that measures your mastery and is a very important part of the admissions process and can open to the door to more educational and financial opportunities. This guide will show you how to prepare for and what to do before, during and after the test.
BEFORE THE TEST
You should or may have already asked the following questions.
You might not have asked:
Based on extensive research, ACT has determined that if you score at or above an 18 for English, 22 for reading, 22 for mathematics, and 23 for science, you are ready for college.
Take the most challenging classes, and you will be more prepared for the test and for college courses. Take AP classes. The ACT will test you over how proficient you are in the core academic areas of English, reading, math, and science. This is how the ACT has always worked.
Things to do months before the test
The Night Before
DURING THE TEST
Bring the following to your test center.
Hillview Prep test tips:
AFTER THE TEST
You got your scores. Now what?
Should you retest? Here are some things to consider:
Data shows that the average ACT Composite Score increment is dependent on the amount of preparation.
Will increasing your score, even by a point, have an impact? Of course! It could increase your financial opportunities, admission possibilities, and scholarship chances. Give your best shot. It is very competitive out there.
The early acceptance decisions have been made earlier this year than in previous years. And you got deferred from your first choice. What should you do? You may be disappointed to learn of the deferral, but you also gain time given the early acceptance decision was made earlier. If you were deferred from your “early” choice college and you still want to go there, do the following to increase your chances of admission in regular decision:
1. Wait until the emotions have settled down. You do not want to send a knee-jerk response to your top choice school -- or to any school. Remember that the although the acceptance rates in top colleges have gone down dramatically over the past several years, the total number of available seats in tops schools have increased. So you have a higher chance of getting into a top school today than 30 years ago! For more information, read this post.
2. Request your school counselor to call the college on your behalf. Often admissions officers are more likely to speak with a school counselor than with the student or her family.
3. Listen to the advice the admissions officer provides. Find out why you were deferred. There could be missing information (teacher recommendations, an essay), or they want to see better ACT or SAT scores. Deferring could also be a nice way to say no, or the selection committee simply needs more time and a fuller picture of the applicant pool before making a final decision.
4. Write an "update letter" and address the reasons why you were deferred: improve your test scores and/or GPA, better or missing recommendations, better essay, financial support information, scholarships won, etc. The good news is that you were deferred and not waitlisted. You are a strong contender. If the institution remains your first choice and you will definitely attend no matter where else you are accepted, say that. Be honest. Many students say that but do not attend. Admissions officers know that. Find out more specifics about the program and school and show why it is a good fit for you and for them.
5. Send the letter in the first week of January so that it arrives in plenty of time for regular decision consideration. And do not forget to submit your remaining regular decision applications while you’re dealing with the deferral. Give it the same care you gave to your early applications.
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Whether you are making up work, preparing for a new class, or simply want to get ahead, it is possible to get your homework done during your holiday and still enjoy your free time. However, due to distractions and time visiting family and just relaxing, you could lose sight of your goal and unable to do much. Try these two cures for holiday homework.
Eliminate online distractions.
Switch between play and study.
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“Early admission appears to be the ‘new normal’ now, as more students are applying early to Harvard and peer institutions than ever before,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “At the same time, we have continued to stress to applicants, their families, and their guidance counselors that there is no advantage in applying early to Harvard. The reason students are admitted — early or during the regular action process — is that their academic, extracurricular, and personal strengths are extraordinary.”
Regardless, more and more students are applying early. The Washington Post reports that UCLA is now the first university to get an application pool hitting six figures. Dartmouth accepted more than 27% of their early action pool of applicants. Barnard College in New York City said their application pool rose 19% from last year. Wesleyan University in Connecticut said they received 16% more apps this time around. And Williams College in Massachusetts reported a 25% increase in early decision applications this year.
It seems there is an advantage of early application to get admission in colleges.
Are there any cons?
Yes, a major one: financial aid.
If you apply early, you lose the ability to negotiate on financial aid, because you have to accept the offer before the regular admission folks. Sometimes the aid package comes out later, with the rest of the admission pool. So if you want to negotiate your financial package with colleges, you may want to wait and apply later so you have your admissions and financial aid package information available and make the best decision for yourself.
So what do we recommend? Well, if your heart is set on a specific college, apply early, regardless of financial aid. If you want to get into a top school, and money is also a major factor in your decision, then we recommend to wait and apply with the regular pool and not lose your negotiating power for financial aid packages.
Let us know if you have more questions about college admissions. Feel free to contact us at any time.
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