Every Spring I get phone calls from parents of high school students that did not receive the composite score they were expecting on the ACT Exam. The State of Michigan requires all high school students to take the ACT Exam in March of their junior year. Scores arrive in April and students who want better scores usually take the June ACT Exam since it is not offered again until September. An improved score on the June ACT gives students more options as they submit applications to colleges and universities. Therefore, April through June is a busy time at Sylvan Learning as we help students get ready for the June ACT.
While this response is better than no response, early preparation and constant preparation is best. Acknowledging that preparation for college actually starts in elementary school, let’s focus on high school. Good grades and increasing academic skills should be the goal of high school students. Both will get the student ready for the criteria used by college admission departments: high school GPA, ACT score and the academic rigor of courses completed.
Notice that I did not say that all a student needs was good grades. Grades alone can be misleading. It is for this reason that colleges look at both a student’s GPA and their ACT. A well rounded and rigorous high school education successfully mastered by a student will be reflected by a strong ACT score. It all starts in 9th grade!