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Achieving success on the ACT

By Conner Rohwer, Mustang High School Published: May 11, 2009
“The biggest mistake I ever made [on the ACT] was using a one dollar calculator from Wal-Mart,” Allyson said. The Math section contains many questions involving sine, cosine, tangent, as well as many other math formulas that can easily consume your time. Since time is of the essence, a scientific calculator is highly suggested although the ACT website and prep guide says it can be done without one.

Elayne Bowman says that there has been more Trigonometry on the exam than when she first started teaching ACT prep. She also cautions that the most common mistake people make on the math section is not taking to time to work out a problem that seems simple.

“The Science section was the hardest [for me] because it’s not about what you learn in class,” Allyson said, “it is mostly graph interpretations.” The Science section comes last, and more often than not, you will be ready to give up. “There are less questions in this section than any other so each one affects your score more… this is not the test to get tired on even though it’s the end,” Allyson said. If you do run out of time on the Science section or any other section, it is okay to guess. Unlike the SAT, wrong answers do not effect your score so guessing is actually recommended if you run short on time.

It is incredibly important to not freak out on the ACT. Doing good on it is very important if you plan on going to college. However, if the ACT is not your strong suit, every college offers an alternative for getting into college. Both OSU and OU require a 24 on the ACT to gain admission to their schools, according to their admissions requirements. But if you fail to get a 24 on the test, you still have a chance at getting in with a 3.0 GPA and top 33% at OSU and a 3.0 and top 25% at OU. So if getting into college is your main concern and you already have the latter requirement, you are almost set. But if getting scholarships is something you want, a good ACT score almost always helps you out.

Conner Rohwer
Mustang High School
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