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Real ACT Study Guide--practice test scores accurate?


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My rising junior is going through PrepScholar's online test prep course, and they use this book for their practice tests.  The students puts the answers in online, and the program times her, but the questions come from the hard copy of the book.  Does anyone have any input on whether the practice test scores are accurate predictors of scores on the actual test?  She has a baseline score from a test she took cold, with zero prep, but the score from the practice test was a full 5 points higher than that, and she is only half-way through the program.  I will do a massive happy dance if she scores this on the actual test (and we're not talking 36s here--I have much more modest goals for this kid's ACT score), so I'm hoping you'll all chime in and say they're spot on.  PrepScholar's score report says actual scores can vary as much as 3 points in either direction, but I would love to know how predictive the scores were for anyone else's student.  Just wondering if I need to dust off my dancin' shoes. . ..

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Heads up that in October of 2015, the ACT changed its essay style, and they have quietly introduced some other changes as well (dual passages in reading, and a slightly more slanted-toward-editing shift in writing & language).

 

They *just* released a new, updated official practice book.

 

The test prep companies (Princeton Review, etc.) were much quicker to anticipate and publish updated material; the usual solid advice to follow the REAL ACT Test Guide has been, IMO, temporarily "off" these last few months.

 

If she's open to doing the work, the updated book reflects the unannounced (and truthfully relatively minor, especially for stronger readers) changes.

 

$.02

 

 

*Editing To Add: To answer the question, though, yes, the REAL ACT book has been a pretty solid predictor of scores through the recent past; an even better predictor is repeated practice tests with the same general score. Good luck to your DD!

Edited by Lucy the Valiant
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Heads up that in October of 2015, the ACT changed its essay style, and they have quietly introduced some other changes as well (dual passages in reading, and a slightly more slanted-toward-editing shift in writing & language).

 

They *just* released a new, updated official practice book.

 

The test prep companies (Princeton Review, etc.) were much quicker to anticipate and publish updated material; the usual solid advice to follow the REAL ACT Test Guide has been, IMO, temporarily "off" these last few months.

 

If she's open to doing the work, the updated book reflects the unannounced (and truthfully relatively minor, especially for stronger readers) changes.

 

$.02

 

Yeah, I saw a reviewer on Amazon mention that.  I'm going to make sure PrepScholar is covering the dual passages in reading, and I'll make sure she practices a couple of those, as reading is definitely not her strength.

 

I'm glad to hear the sample tests are at least in the ballpark.

 

And, again--we're not talking goal scores here that anyone on CC would do a happy dance about, but I'm so encouraged by the practice results.  They won't get her into Stanford or Vandy or anywhere of that caliber (I don't even bother to pass along to her any mail from those schools), but they would get her into most any of the schools she's visited or talked about.  

Edited by plansrme
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In the older Real ACT book both my kids took several practice tests. They were pretty good predictors but both my boys are good under pressure and actually score slightly better on the real thing. But scores are pretty consistent across multiple practice tests and individual sections.

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My oldest did the free ACT practice test 2015/16 by ACT in below link. His actual score for all sections were higher when he took the Dec 2015 test. He didn't try the Real ACT test guide or any other prep book since we were only looking at getting a baseline score.

http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Preparing-for-the-ACT.pdf

 

ETA:

He tried two older practice tests as well

E.g. 2013/14

http://coe.umsl.edu/rite/files/pdfs/ACTprep2013-2014.pdf

Edited by Arcadia
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I think the tests from that book give you a good ballpark idea of the students score.  For both of my DDs who used it, their actual ACT composite score was a couple points lower and the individual test scores were probably plus or minus 3 points.  From our experience and random internet chatter, the science score is the biggest wildcard.  Those scores seem to swing the widest just depending on the exam content.

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