The Cost of Conquering the ACT

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The Cost of Conquering the ACT

Christian Campbell, Staf Writer

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  Standardized testing is a large and time-consuming factor when students are considering college, with the power to make or break an applicant during the admissions process.
  In the year of 2017-2018, the average ACT composite score of the Wayzata senior class was a 25.6. According to a Trojan Tribune 2018 College Application Survey, 97 percent of 152 Wayzata seniors have taken the ACT once. 40 percent of 148 Wayzata seniors are not satisfied with their ACT score. Counselor Sarah Clutter said, ”Students usually take the ACT between three and four times.”, which is reflected through the 50 percent of 152 Wayzata seniors who have taken the test more than three times.
  There are many factors that influence a boost in one’s ACT score with practice resources being one. The survey reveals that Wayzata seniors used tutoring (47 percent), online resources (31 percent), textbooks (39 percent), and practice tests (59 percent).
 The Trojan Tribune 2018 College Application Survey cites that 32 percent of 152 Wayzata High School seniors have spent $0 in preparing for the ACT, 12 percent have spent $10 to $50, 19 percent have spent $50 to $200, 11 percent have spent $200 to $500, and 26 percent have spent $500 or more.

  The largest majority of this money goes towards ACT tutoring, these services generally range from as low as $35 (Wyzant Tutor) to $225 (Breakaway Test Prep) per session. “I think life has become more competitive or gives the impression it is more competitive. Thus, parents are reacting and trying to give their kids ‘the best chance’ to do well by helping them prepare for these standardized tests,” said Breakaway Test Prep’s Director Lori Wormald in reference to the rising popularity of tutoring services.
  Wormald also attributes students’ desires to have one on one interaction for the increase in ACT tutoring saying, “As a tutor, I can gauge how a student is reacting/ learning, and I can tailor my teaching to the students’ needs—not general needs.”
  According to Wormald, her tutoring service provides around 1000 tutoring hours a month. “Some ‘rising juniors’ start the summer before their junior year” and “Many kids jump into tutoring in January of their junior year,” said Wormald referring to the time periods over which students prepare for the ACT.
  Wormald said that the most tutoring a student will receive is around a year of tutoring. “With tutoring, the ‘minimum’ point jump we see is 2 to 3 points on the composite. We have had students jump 6 to 8 composite points. We always see an increase unless there are extenuating
circumstances such as severe test anxiety,” said Wormald.
  This falls in line with that data provided by The Trojan Tribune 2018 College Application Survey which demonstrates that 57 percent of 150 Wayzata seniors experienced a 2 or more point jump if they had taken the ACT multiple times.

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