At Inspiring Test Preparation, we are pretty accustomed to our students improving 4 points on the ACT composite.  That’s our average gain.   But occasionally we get a student who does so outstandingly well, we can’t help telling the world.  Here’s the latest story.

Joe (not his real name) came to our office in early October and took a 3-hour ACT diagnostic test.  His beginning scores were

19 English 20 Math 13 Reading and 18 Science = 18 Composite

When we see scores that low we are excited by the possibilities.  We know he has ADHD; maybe that explains it.  Poor executive functioning?  Does he have test anxiety, too?

After a couple of tutoring sessions where we discussed strategies for covering reading comprehension more effectively, pacing on the various sections, and some math and grammar remediation, Joe took another practice test; those scores were

25 English 26 math 18 Reading 21 Science = 23 Composite

Hmmm. A five point gain after two or three hours of tutoring makes us cautious.  It usually takes several practice tests to make that sort of gain.  Nevertheless, we are confident the scores reflect the gains because we use real ACTs and supervise practice sessions to ensure testing accuracy.

After a couple more hours of prep where we reenforced pacing and timing strategies and discussed errors on the previous practice test, Joe took another test and got a 24 composite.  That is when we found out he wanted (needs) a 27 for his preferred college.  Yikes.  He’s already gone up 6 points.  Where’s the gain gonna come from?  So we tried an exercise we find useful with certain students — we gave him an untimed ACT to see what his potential was.  He scored 29 Reading and 29 Science with extended time.

Okay.  Now we’ve got a threshold.  Going for a 27 timed isn’t out of the question.  So after additional tutoring and a final timed practice test in which he scored

28 English 25 Math 26 Reading and 27 Science = 27 Composite

Joe took the December ACT and scored a

25 English (up 6) 27 Math (up 7) 27 Reading (up 14) 26 Science (up 8)

= 26 Composite (A total gain of 8 composite points!)

After only ten hours of private tutoring, five full practice tests and an extra science and reading test with Inspiring Test Preparation, Joe gained 8 points on the ACT composite which is like a 310 point gain on the SAT.

Joe and his mom are very happy, and Joe knows he can do better.  He plans on a second go in February to see if he can hit 27.  To get there we will do a little review to maintain good testing practices.

Most students are satisfied with the instruction and coaching we provide. If you would like to find out what Inspiring Test Preparation can do for you, schedule a free consultation to discuss your preparation needs.  If you are a new student, come in for a free 3-hour diagnostic ACT on Monday, January 2 or Saturday, January 7.  If you are ready to proceed, our next ACT class starts Sunday, January 8.  Sign up today to prepare for the February ACT.