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What level of math for ACT?


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In NC we have to test each year they are in school. In high school, well, 10th grade and above, most people I know have the student do the ACT. The ACT counts for testing in NC, the SAT does not. This has worked with my oldest so far.

 

A week or so ago I was saying to the family in general that we'll have 2 taking the ACT next year. Oldest says middle won't be ready for the math section. When oldest was in 10th, she was in Alg 2. Middle will only be in Geometry. I don't want her to take the test and feel like she failed because she did poorly on the math section.

 

So in general, what level of math is needed to do at least ok on the ACT?

 

(Oldest retook the ACT in Feb and scored the same on math as last year even though this year she's in Pre-calc.)

 

Thanks!

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I've known folks who have used the ACT for this same purpose which much younger children (middle school). They felt they got double duty of fulfilling the state law and having ACT experience so when their children were older they wouldn't be freaked out by the experience.

 

So to me the question is not what level math is there, but what are the negatives if the younger child doesn't have all the math covered? NC state law does not have a consequence for a low score so there is no legal reason to be concerned about a low score.

 

There may be some concern about a low score showing up for admissions, so you'll need to investigate that and find out if the schools your child is likely to apply to are going to be unhappy or hold it against the child if they have a low score taken early on but better scores later.

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I never knew you had to test each year in NC, RI does not require any testing just as long as you keep everything up to date and do not fail to send in progress reports from time to time. So I am thankful for that, but there are usually pre-algebra, algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and a few triognometry questions. I am studying extra hard to try and take the test by late spring, but your dd should do just fine with pre-cal under her belt. Maybe a few practice tests will help cement in some concepts?

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I never knew you had to test each year in NC, RI does not require any testing just as long as you keep everything up to date and do not fail to send in progress reports from time to time. So I am thankful for that, but there are usually pre-algebra, algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and a few triognometry questions. I am studying extra hard to try and take the test by late spring, but your dd should do just fine with pre-cal under her belt. Maybe a few practice tests will help cement in some concepts?

 

It's funny how different folks in different states thing their state's system is better isn't it? The NC law and testing once a year, while it does cost money, it doesn't involve any reporting to state officials unless they come to "inspect" you which never happens. So I'd much rather test than have to send in reports.

 

My point here isn't that NC law is better than RI, just that everybody gets used to what there state does.

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@ candid - My son took Act in 7th grade as Duke Tip participant. He did good in math but he did answered most Algebra and guessed on Geometry, Trig. He got good score for 7th grader .

 

Did Tip score his test differently? I'm afraid I don't know much about this. But it is good to know that younger students can take the ACT without fuss.

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The content of the ACT Mathematics Test is as follows: pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry & 4 trigonometry problems

 

When you say "pre-algebra", are you talking about percents, fractions, decimals, etc. or are you talking about basic algebra concepts? Some courses that are called pre-algebra are nothing but those things I've mentioned and some positive and negative numbers and basic equations. Other pre-algebra courses have no basic math in them (percents, fractions, etc.) So my question is really this: Does the ACT contain *any* basic math other than actual algebra on through the list you covered? Thank you so much! DD will be taking it for the first time next year, and I wasn't sure if she needed to "brush up" on the percentages, measurement conversions, fractions, etc.

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She won't be able to do all the problems, but you could tell her this ahead of time to alleviate any "not good enough" feelings. It could boost her self-esteem if she did better later on.

 

A larger problem might be having to report all scores to schools, but most don't require that. An upward trend should look good.

 

To get an idea of how she would do or to be able to discuss types of questions check out a practice book from your local library and do a practice test (on separate paper, of course).

 

Of my three boys, I do have one who lost interest in something if he felt he wasn't good at it. I had to beware of testing him above his ability as it discouraged him. As of this year - within the last couple of months actually - he's been motivated to improve rather than choosing to avoid. I give credit to visiting colleges and seeing what "can be" with more of a foundation.

 

One of my other two didn't give a hoot. At least he was naturally talented (not tippy top, but good enough for merit aid, etc). Taking a test earlier than he knew information wouldn't have mattered to him one bit.

 

The third (middle son actually) has always been incredibly motivated to learn anything he doesn't know (or ever got wrong on a test). Taking a test early inspired him to fill in any gaps.

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Did Tip score his test differently? I'm afraid I don't know much about this. But it is good to know that younger students can take the ACT without fuss.

They have their own norms, so you can see where a 7th grade score falls among other 7th grade scores... but of course it's not a random sample of 7th graders... so sometimes the curve is pretty harsh!

 

I don't have my practice books right here and I haven't had enough coffee yet to rely on memory, but if you (the OP) want a good preview of what's on the test, the "Real ACT" practice book really is pretty much spot on. It's three full-length released tests from sometime in the last few years. Nothing much changes between tests (as far as difficulty), so a run through any one of those should tell you everything you need to know.

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