It’s that time of year again. High school seniors continue zooming their completed college applications over the internet to their chosen post-secondary destinations, only to wait expectantly for acceptance or rejection letters. Now is also the time for high school juniors to go full speed ahead with the college application process – assuming that they want to avoid the stress and anxiety that accompanies procrastination and poor planning. Part of that effort includes strategizing for the standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests. While the list of required assessments seems daunting, with some preparation it can be well managed.
Great Little Secret of the ACT
One way in which students can help themselves through this process is by empowering themselves with knowledge about all the resources available to them. While many students do not always know or do not take advantage of this perk, the ACT allows students who take the exam in December, April and June of any year to order a copy of the exam book (not the same exact one they used during the administration – which the PSAT offers – but the same test just the same) along with a score breakdown.
This service is called Test Information Release and costs $19.00. Students can order the booklet along with the score breakdown either when they register for the test or within three months after the test administration. Expect to receive the official score report before the booklet with the score breakdown, which arrives about three to five weeks after all the scores for that test day are mailed.
For each section, the student will see the question number at the top of the column (not shown), the correct answer, their own answer (a “+” represents every correct student answer) and the type of question it represents. For example, on the math section, “A” = Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra, “G” = Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry and “T” = Plane Geometry and Trigonometry. Students can use this information to guide them in preparing for future assessments and to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.
Students who took the test in December 2013 should definitely take advantage of this opportunity. For those interested in this service, download the form on the ACT website. Complete it and mail it in with a check as soon as possible in order to use the results as a tool to perform even better the next time – that is, if you plan to take the ACT again.
Students may take advantage of this service if they plan to take the ACT in either April or June.