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What’s a “Good” Score on the ACT, Anyway?

Where do you stand compared to students across the nation?

July 17, 2017

What’s a “Good” Score on the ACT, Anyway?

Every student wants to achieve a “good” score on the ACT, but does everyone know what a “good” score is defined as?

While the answer is relative based on each individual student, for this purpose, we’re defining a “good” score by measuring against the national averages of students across the country.

Keep in mind, however, that these definitions are not absolute. The goal of the exam is to help with your college admissions, so a “good” or “bad” score is relative to your college choices.

Ultimately, your score only matters in comparison to the other students who are applying to the same schools.

You should define your scores based on the colleges you want to apply to for admission. It’s actually quite easy to find out what the average ACT score is at any given college.

Here’s how to easily figure out a college’s average ACT score:

1. Start by Googling [Name of College] ACT score.

Your results will likely yield both the 25th and 75th percentiles of scores of students currently attending the score. To interpret this correctly, the 25th percentile means the lower end of the scale (25 percent of students have the listed score or lower) and the 75th percentile is the higher range (75 percent of students have the listed score or higher).

2. Take the two numbers given (the 25th and 75th percentile scores) and generate the average between the two.

That will give you the average score of admitted students at that particular school.

As a goal, you should aim for the 75th percentile as your target score because it means you’re likely to gain admission. While it is useful to be aware of the average score at a school, you don’t want to aim for the average but, rather, the higher end of the spectrum of the two scores shared by the college.

If you’re in the 25th percentile, you’re going to have to work especially hard on the other aspects of the admissions process.

Remember, for you, any score that will get you admitted into the college of your choice is a “good” score.

So, what’s normal for most students?

To start off, you should know that the lowest attainable score is a 1 and the highest, a 36. This scale is different than the SAT, which has a higher minimum score.

The national ACT average composite score is 20.

The test was created and designed to have this average score on the overall ACT exam, as well as within each ACT section.

So, ranking within that area puts you right in the middle of students across America. That means that about half of the country’s students are above or below a composite score of 20.

The top 25 percent of ACT exam takers achieve a composite score 24 or higher.

If you score above a 24, pat yourself on the back, smarty-pants. You have achieved what most students never will!

The bottom 25 percent reach a composite score of 16 or lower.

Anything below a 16 is the danger zone! If you’re not happy with this score, don’t fret, you can still focus on improving it.

Learn more about the ACT’s national score rankings ACT’s national score rankings on their web site.


Stop Sabotaging Your Semester Before You Start

With a few tips, you could be on track for your most successful semester yet.

Stop Sabotaging Your Semester Before You Start

The college search and admissions processes and your grades suffer from disorganization – but, with a few organization tips, you could be on track for your most successful semester yet.

And, because your future is at stake, it’s time to recognize that being disorganized can seriously impact your performance as a student.

Once you’ve done so, there are easy ways to implement some simple organization tactics into your daily routine (without feeling like you’re changing all that much).

Check out five warning signs which indicate that you may need to pay a little extra attention to organizing – along with easy fixes for each of your tough spots so you can stop sabotaging your semester, before you even begin.

You can’t keep track of important dates and deadlines.

This is, perhaps, the easiest fix of them all. They have millions of crazy cute day planners out there – so invest in one! Make it your goal to write down any important dates, events and deadlines that come up for the next three weeks – minimum. From there, it will likely become habit.

Though many students like to utilize reminders and calendars on their smartphones, it’s often easier to have a tangible planner which you can get into the habit of writing things down, big and small.

You misplace and lose track of where you put everything.

Now is the perfect time to recognize this issue! It’s easy to organize your notebooks, binders and folders when starting out a new semester – then just work to keep them that way.

Remember, starting out organized means you’re ahead of the game because it’s much more difficult to backtrack and organize piles of randomness later.

Label everything by subject so that each is easily recognizable. It’s also helpful to assign one color to each subject. For example, red folders, notebooks and binders for math, blue for English and so on.

Commit to following through on placing papers and assignments in the right folders immediately, taking notes in the right notebooks, etc. That way, you’ll never be guessing where you left the handout given in class since you placed in the folder for that class right away.

Your notes often feel worthless.

Ever find yourself in the position of trying to reread your notes when it’s time to study and feeling like you’re reading a foreign language. You’re not alone. Often times, students who try to write everything down end up getting nothing from their efforts.To help with this, try to focus on writing down important tidbits of information, rather than all of the information provided. Ask yourself if it can be found in the textbook or if it’s something that your teacher is highlighting for a reason. If it’s important, but can still be found in the text, write a note to look it up.

It’s helpful to date your notes and give them headings as you move through discussions in class. Usually, teachers will let you know what the focus of the class will be at the beginning, whether it is a particular chapter or topic focus.

Write it down so that you can easily reference back to that area when it comes time to look through your notes for the information.

Your study space is a battleground.

How can you expect to focus if the area you’re trying to focus in is hectic? Create and maintain a study space – that’s calm, organized and free of chaos. Think of it as the reflection of what you’d like your mind to look like as you’re trying to study.Cluttered space, cluttered thoughts. Makes sense, right?

You leave everything to the last minute.

You can’t possibly be reflecting your best work if you’re constantly in a race to the finish line!Start a regular study schedule, where you plan what you’ll be working on ahead of time (using your new day planner) so that you’re able to put in the time and effort each assignment, college application or whatever else you need to accomplish requires.

Try to do so as early as possible so that you’re never blind-sighted by upcoming due dates and deadlines.


20 Study Strategies for Finals Week

Finals week can be the most stressful time for a student, whether in high school, college or graduate school.

October 20, 2016

20 Study Strategies for Finals Week

Finals week can be the most stressful time for a student, whether in high school, college or graduate school.

Ensure you’re prepared for your exams with these study tips, which can help you conquer your finals.

Follow this list as finals week approaches (the earlier you prep, the better) so you can ace your exams from start to finish:

1. Create your own study guide.

While many teachers provide a study guide, creating your own can help you understand the material better. Outlining the important information you need to learn can be helpful, both in creation and to refer to during your studies.

2. Ask questions.

Your professors and TA’s are there to help! Ask them questions regarding the material and the exam so that you’re prepared when exam time arrives.

3. Attend the review session.

Review sessions offer vital information on exam format, what will be on the exam and key concepts you should be focusing your studies on.

4. Start early.

If you always start ahead of schedule, you’ll never be cramming the night before an exam. You’ll almost always perform better in doing so!

5. Organize a group study session.

It can be helpful to study in groups – sometimes. Evaluate whether or not studying with others will be beneficial to the subject as well at your learning process.

6. Study things not on the study guide.

Study guides aren’t always comprehensive – they’re just suggestions of the main concepts to learn. Use your study guide for its intended purpose: a guide. Be sure to fill in the blanks with related information.

7. Take breaks.

You won’t be able to memorize or comprehend all the material at once. Balance is key – ensure that you reward learning with break times to recharge and relax.

8. Stay well-rested.

There’s a lot to be said about a good night’s sleep. Make sure you’re well-rested so that you can be fully focused during your exams.

9. Create a study schedule – and follow it.

Splitting the material into chucks you can actually achieve can be very beneficial. That way, you can keep track of what you’ve accomplished instead of looking at the big picture and getting overwhelmed.

10. Prioritize your study time.

Some exams will be more difficult than others, some you may find easier to study for. Some may be worth more of your grade than others. Make sure to evaluate all of your exams to consider and determine all of the involved factors so you can study accordingly.

11. Study for the style of exam.

If it’s multiple choice, you’ll need to know definitions and concepts. For essay exams, focus on your understanding of all the concepts presented, with examples in mind.

12. Quiz yourself.

If you think about and create actual exam questions, you will likely become more familiar with what you need to study and, in the meantime, familiarize yourself with the type of language that will be on the exam. Draft potential exam questions and quiz yourself so that you can set expectations of what you need to focus on.

13. Meet with your professor or TA.

Often times, meeting with an instructor, whether it’s a professor or a TA, can give you helpful hints for what to study and ways to prepare for the exam.

14. Reorganize your notes.

Evaluate and reorganize your notes into what’s important, outlining important concepts, formulas dates and definitions so they’re easy to understand.

15. Pace yourself.

Make sure you stay focused and don’t burn yourself out. A great way to do so is to pace yourself rather than opting for the dreaded all-nighter. You can easily pace yourself by following tips like starting early, creating a study schedule and taking breaks when necessary!

16. Teach classmates.

Learning by teaching is a method that really works! If you work with a study buddy and explain concepts to one another, you’re re-learning the material all over again. It’s a great way to reinforce what you’ve learned and help someone in the meantime!

17. Revolve your focus.

Switching up your subjects is a helpful way to learn everything for your exams while preventing burnout on one topic. Make sure to switch it up before your eyes glaze over! That way, you can keep studying for longer periods of time while maintaining your focus.

18. Color code it.

Create a system that allows you to color code material that’s going to be on the exam by what’s most important, less important, etc. This will help you focus on the most pertinent information and prioritize the material.

19. Visualize.

If you’re a visual learner, it can help to create mind maps or diagrams to visualize how the concepts you’re learning relate to one another. This is especially beneficial when learning concepts that build upon the understanding of one another, like in science courses.

20. Make it fun.

It’s easier to focus if you adapt to studying by quizzing yourself, creating acronyms or rewarding yourself for a job well done. Create a game plan – literally – that allows you to accomplish tasks and be rewarded for each.

For example, why not reward yourself with a piece of chocolate or a sip of your coffee after you’ve accomplished a new chapter or allow yourself five minutes of free time for every chunk of material you digest?

You can even add in fun factors like power-ups every time you learn a new definition and lose a life, which means you add another definition to your list, when you get an answer wrong!