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Four Tips for Helping Your Student jump that ACT Score

A higher ACT score means better college choices and scholarships, step one to graduating with minimal debt. So here are four tips for jumping that score.

1. Take Four: Have your student take the ACT four times. Colleges just care about that highest score, and many will combine the four highest sub-scores even if they happened on different tests. So have your student take the ACT at least four times, unless he hammers a 36 right away.

2. June Counts: If he’s a junior, have him take the ACT twice this spring, including June 11.  I see big jumps on the June ACT because it’s two or three weeks after finals, the least stressful test date of the six offered annually.  Have your student prepare for 30-45 minutes each day after finals, before June 11, and you’ll love his new score.  Summer doesn’t start until noon on June 11.

3. Motivate with Money: Jumping that ACT score is the best paying job a high school student could ever have.  Joining the 5-point-jump-club means dramatically better school choices and scholarships. Create motivation by reminding your student that he’ll make much more preparing for and jumping that ACT score than he will flipping burgers.

4. Hammer the Grammar: the ACT English and Math content are the most predictable and easiest to improve. Have your student Hammer the Grammar and math questions prior to test day. JBP synthesizes grammar down to 22 easy-to-master grammar rules, and ACT math is so basic that amnesia is often a high school junior’s biggest enemy.  Solid practice should bring back the fond memories.

Colleges primarily care about the Big Three: grades, scores, and one extra-curricular.  Students: finish strong this semester, jump that April ACT score, and then launch that June ACT score.  Spend summer strengthening that extra-curricular skill. Hello better college choices and scholarships.

John Baylor is a father, husband, author, Stanford grad, broadcaster, and owner of John Baylor Prep. The mission of JBP is to help families and schools create two- and four-year college graduates with minimal debt. You can listen to the John Baylor Prep Show by subscribing on iTunes or by going to The show also runs on Nebraska stations KHUB (1340 AM) in Fremont, KNCY (1600 AM) in Nebraska City, KLIN (1400 AM)in Lincoln. Check listing for days and times.


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