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Last minute ACT help.

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In prep for Saturday's ACT test, Ds17 took a practice test today - the one in the booklet they give to schools. We downloaded it online. We are very happy with his composite score and with his scores in every section EXCEPT the math. His math score is 4 points lower than is composite and 5 - 7 points lower than the other sections. His problems were in the Intermediate Algebra/coordinate geometry and the plane geometry/trig subsections. Ds is very talented in math - he taught himself the trig he needed for AP Physics B because we hadn't gotten to it yet and got a 5 on the exam. However he may have some holes due to switching from Singapore's NEM to AoPS and not getting in a full Geometry program. Before he heads to college, I do expect him to get it in, but not until this summer.


So, in the next 24 hours, what can he do to improve that score? Or do we just not worry about it and see what we can do if we decide to have him take it again later?

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My kids are younger and haven't taken the ACT yet, but what about downloading something like this

http://www.amazon.com/McGraw-Hills-Conquering-Math-Steven-Dulan/dp/0071495975/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297384508&sr=8-1 to pinpoint the problem areas and do some review/practice of them tonight.


(or running to the bookstore and getting it there if you have one locally)


Above all, I would remain calm and try to get him to do the same -- panicking will make it worse, confidence is half the battle in my opinion!

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ACT suggests not trying to cram in last minute study sessions. They actually prefer that students take the day off from ACT practice the day before the test.


My DS is taking the ACT on Sat., too, and, at this point, we are calling it good. He wouldn't be able to learn anything well enough to make a difference on his score at this late time anyway.


If it's your 16 yo taking the test, I would suggest just letting him go with it this year and then plan on taking it again next year.


I wish your son good luck.

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We had the same problem last year. Mine did not do PreCalc yet and we did notice that some Trig questions were missed, and yes, it was also a last minute discovery. Thankfully, DH was able to narrow down the topic and explain it to DC the night before the ACT. As a result, she did quite well on the Math section.


However, if you have a child that is easily flustered, I would avoid doing what we did.


All the best for tomorrow!



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Thanks for all the advice. I had my son go over the exam to see what he missed. Several were head slapping "Doh" moments (stupid arithmetic errors that are rare for him) and a few others were ones that he should have triage'd as come-back-to questions rather than skip because, after a more careful reading of the question, he had a good idea how to attack the problem. He thinks he should have gotten at least 3 or 4 more answers correct, which would have bumped his score much closer to his other scores.


So, I told him to that he was done with his prep and to just move on with his other work. He is pretty confident. Now to get him a watch that works.

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