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Is retesting really worth it?
According to a study done by ACT, there is a consistent pattern of gains can be established across all incidences of retesting. They found:
In order to succeed on the ACT, or any test, you need to learn test taking strategies and time management. Studying alone can help, but tutoring and practice tests have more of a positive impact on a students score. In fact, we think testing is better than studying. It is the foundation of our Smart Scoring System.
There are several factors that come into play the first time a student takes the ACT.
One section of the test can significantly impact the composite score. So, how does one make sure a retest is successful?
1. Learn from the First Test
Most students are able to isolate whether they are better at Math, Science or English, but they don't understand how to deal with inferential questions and time management strategies. Plus, often they are stubborn learners, so they don't see that they have to change their approach rather than practicing more the same way.
2. Rethink your strategy
Our advice is to rethink your strategy. Remember, ACT is testing what you already learned at school. If you didn't do well, it is because you have some conceptual weaknesses, poor test taking strategies or a poor approach to solving problems and reading comprehension. All of these can be addressed and you can increase your score. Recently, one Hillview Prep student's ACT composite score went from 26 to 30, and from 18 to 28 in English!
How did he do that?
3. Use The Smart Scoring System
If you are interested in learning faster, testing smarter and scoring higher, check out our ACT classes and bootcamps below.
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You are told if you are smart, you will get good grades and do really well on standardized tests. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Just because a student is smart, it does not mean she will end up with good grades. Yesterday, we had a meeting with concerned parents and their talented and smart daughter, who was barely getting by in school. She was doing well, and then suddenly her grades fell. Her parents were concerned brought her to Hillview Prep to provide her with academic and test prep support. Her father kept on insisting that his daughter is smart. We did not disagree, as after talking to her we could tell that she is a typical smart and talented girl, who has too many things on her hand. She is active both in academics and in sports, and says she is not a good test-taker, but does all her homework. She said she does not like math and is not good at it, but loves science.
Usually, when someone is good in science, they are good in math too. The problem is that students often do not know their learning style and skills they need to do well in academics and in tests. They just do things intuitively. They haven't learnt that one can be good in any subject. It all depends on learning good methods of learning. Do you know how to take control of your academic abilities? Do you know how to learn effectively?
Well, if you are smart, why are you not good at taking tests? Test taking is fundamentally a skill, just like any other skill.
Many parents and teachers don't want to equate intelligence or mastery with good grades.
Intelligent kids often do poorly in tests, because they never were taught test-taking skills.
This is especially true with timed tests. . Sometimes they find the test easy, so they overcomplicate it because of their need for a challenge.
Overcomplicating a question or an inference can take away precious seconds and put them under time pressure.
Time interval training using the Smart Scoring System can help with time management as well as finding out whether you are complicating questions by going too abstract rather than being literal and answering the question asked; whether you are skipping steps, doing mental math or not paying attention, so you make minor errors, etc.
This is why even smart kids need to be taught the proper way to take a test.
The ACT and the SAT are probably the most important tests that students will ever take, but it is also the most difficult and most stressful. Even a straight-A student who excels at test taking may struggle with the ACT and the SAT, so test prep is extremely important.
The Smart Scoring System is the tool to teach students—any student—how to learn better and how to take tests better.
How the Smart Scoring System helps smart students?
If you are interested in learning how the Smart Scoring System can help you or someone in your family, let us know. We offer assessments using the Smart Scoring System to evaluate where you stand: your learning style, your strengths and weaknesses, etc. Click below for an assessment.
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You need to get at least a 32 on the ACT to get into a top school.
Often we see that some very smart kids are unable to break the barrier of 32 on the ACT and fail to get near perfect scores.
Why do smart kids fail to break the barrier? In "Patterns of Underachievement in Gifted Students", Carolyn Coil, discusses three patterns of underachievement by smart kids:
1) Does well in early grades, then underachieves more as they get older
2) Sporadic up-and-down pattern
3) No effort to go beyond the minimum
The causes of underachievement can be many. We highlight a few below.
1. Not Being Prepared
Some smart students have poor discipline and do things last minute. They are smart so they can study last minute and still do well. However, in test prep, you cannot get away with it. Poor discipline leads to poor habits which affects your scores. For example, such students make a lot of silly errors because they rush through the questions. Remember, many questions are not difficult, but if you make an error the scantron will be unforgiving. It does not know whether you know the concept or not. It only sees you bubble that you have marked. Why lose points on concepts you know really well? So prepare well.
2. Poor Strategies
We suggest not to take the ACT or the SAT in spring because your school load is quite heavy, especially if you are taking APs. Ideally, take the test in the Fall and do test-prep in the Summer. We would be happy to assist with your test preparation. Just let us know. :-)
3. Lack of Test Taking Abilities
If you are not a good test taker, chances are you have not developed your test-taking abilities. Test taking is no different than learning swimming or tennis. It is the same thing. There are certain principles and strategies that you need to learn to do well on tests. Many students do not have a well rounded approach and have no consistency.
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The ACT Science test contains passages on a variety of scientific subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, etc. According to the Official ACT website: “Advanced knowledge in these subjects is not required, but background knowledge acquired in general, introductory science courses is needed to answer some of the questions. The test emphasizes scientific reasoning skills over recall of scientific content, skill in mathematics, or reading ability.”
We believe that reading comprehension is the key to be successful with ACT science. In addition, we believe that a review of definitions can enhance your ability to do well in the ACT Science portion. Again, we are talking here about background knowledge and not expertise.
Definitions are key in acquiring a sound background knowledge of any subject, and here is a list of concepts that you might encounter on the ACT Science section. Do let us know if you want to learn more about acing the ACT test. With our revolutionary Smart Scoring System, we can help you learn faster, test smarter and score higher on your ACT.
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There are usually three categories of students: the anxious, the bored, and the prepared.
Many students are anxious before and during a test. It is very normal and natural. You don't take tests everyday, especially those with high impact on your future. It is almost like the Olympics!
Other teens might wonder about sitting in a seat for four hours answering questions that have no relevance to a teen's life? Boring? Uncool? Unfortunately, welcome to the world of test taking. You have to do take the test in order to get into a great college. During the test, you'll lose interest. Your mind will wander and lose focus. You'll feel tired. What to do?
And then there are the prepared teens, those who have invested or plan to invest in taking test prep courses and lessons and are fully prepared. However, just knowing the content is not good enough. You have to have strategies to maximizing your test taking abilities and efficiency. And even the most prepared will feel some anxiety or nervousness during or before the test. This is all normal. In fact, if you feel something, that means you don't care.
Use these seven tips for teens to maximize your efforts on the ACT and the SAT tests and earn the high scores that colleges want.