ACT Scores

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by conjbuck, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. conjbuck

    conjbuck Member

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    I was just wondering what the average ACT scores were for those admitted to West Point. I have heard very different things. I am also debating whether I should take the ACT again this fall or if my following scores should be good enough:

    Composite:28
    English: 30
    Math: 29
    Reading: 31
    Science: 27
    Writing/English: 29 (9 out of 12)

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    You can't lose by taking the ACT more than once. Since West Point keeps your highest scores, my cadet improved every time he retook it. At a meeting with his WP Admissions Officer in spring of his junior year, he was specifically told to raise his ACT scores. That really spurred my cadet to action!

    If you have never looked at the profile of the Class of 2014, check it out here: http://www.usma.edu/Class/2014/profile.asp Lots of helpful information there to help you see where you stand.
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Dixieland is right on. Take the ACT as many times as you can (Sept/Oct/Dec). The cost is minimal and your score can only go up since USMA superscores (uses the highest score from each category over multiple exams).
     
  4. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Does anyone knows how long does it take for West Point to receive the scores, if it was chosen as a recipient before the test?

    I have heard that it takes 2 weeks on average... but does anyone know more specific details about USMA?

    Thanks!


    Oh, and how does WP look into your reading, science and writing scores? I got a 6 out of 12 on writing... For a eng/writing of 30. Will that hurt my application a lot?
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I believe that colleges get the scores electronically as soon as you can view them online (2 weeks sound correct). I don't know the details of how the scores are processed by USMA and I doubt anybody on this forum knows either.
     
  6. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    conjbuck -
    While those are nice scores, if it is in the budget, I would suggest retaking any standardized test unless you made a perfect score. If there is room for improvement, then you should try to improve. This looks to be a very competitive year so get every point you can out of the SAT/ACT tests.

    BillSL-
    On the ACT - every score is 'looked' at. A subscore under 24 in any category puts you in the 'at risk' category.
    Whereas on the SAT - the Math and CR are the two important scores with the Math being the most important of the the two.

    As far as the ACT writing score - only your combined English/Writing score is entered on your portal. To be brutally honest - a 6 on the Writing is not a great score. The score I see most with our competitive candidates is 8 with the occasional 7 or 9, but across the board, 8 is the most common. Your English score must have been pretty good though for the Combined to be a 30.

    I have no idea how long it takes for West Point to receive the scores but I would be very surprised if they have not received your June scores.
    If what you are really asking is why your scores haven't shown up on your portal - it could be that they have received your scores but have not entered them in on your portal yet.
     
  7. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    So my scores are:

    31 Composite
    35 English
    31 Math
    28 Reading
    30 Science
    6 Writing
    (Comb Eng+Writ = 30)

    As only the combined Eng+Writ scores go to the Portal, does my 6 really matter?

    I will probably be retaking the ACT in October/November, but it would be interesting to know if my writing score is too down the mud.


    Also, my scores were only done yesterday (due to international test location). I was just wondering when should I expect my scores to get to the portal (so as to be considered for LOA or not).
     
  8. rayquad

    rayquad Member

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    When I was at Summer Seminar, someone asked why there was no published average writing score. The Admissions officer answered that not enough data had been collected about writing scores (because of its recent addition to the ACT test) to publish an average score. So, he said that right now the academy just wants to see that you did it. In a few years, he said that the writing score would have much more impact on a candidate's score than it does now.
     
  9. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Hmm, interesting information. I knew they were doing this for the SAT... I thought they already had it for the ACT, guess I'm wrong.

    Thank you for the insight, rayquad :thumb:
     
  10. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    It matters in that with your high English score (good job BTW :thumb:) your writing score lowered your Combined score.

    You should take the ACT again. We urge our candidates to take the SAT and ACT at least twice and more than that, if possible.
    Since WP superscores, it can only help your file to take them more than once.
    Standardized test scores account for 1/2 of your academic assessment!

    If the scores don't show up on your portal a week before August 1, shoot your RC an email and tell him the situation.
     
  11. alparent

    alparent Member

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    Can you please clarify the combined English/Writing? I thought WP just wanted to see that you took the written part of the ACT, but didn't actually use it for anything. At an admissions briefing this summer, I thought they said you only need to take it once - as long as its a decent score of 6+. If so, do they superscore that with whatever your highest English score is? Do the other scores (math, science, etc) show up on the portal as well? Thanks for any insight!
     
  12. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    alparent-
    The way it was explained to me (and this was a couple of years ago) was that WP requires candidates to take the ACT with Writing so that some time in the future, after they have gathered enough data on it, they can use the writing score as part of the academic evaluation. But right now - it is used for data gathering purposes only.

    The writing does have an influence on the Combined English/Writing score. There's just not a risk level associated with the writing score.
    The risk level for ACT is ANY subsection under 24. I consider the Combined English/Writing as one of the subsections. So therefore, while the writing score is not analyzed separately from the the Combined, it is still a part of that score.

    I doubt that a superscored Combined English/Writing is comprised of the candidate's highest writing score and their highest English score. I'm pretty sure that it's the score of the Combined English/Writing that is superscored.

    All the ACT scores appear on the candidate portal: Math, Reading, English, Combined English/Writing and Science.
     
  13. alparent

    alparent Member

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    buff, thank you for explaining!
     
  14. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    I believe they will also use the writing portions when evaluating a candidate with low English scores. Testing services will allow the writing portions to be downloaded by colleges.
     
  15. Cadethopeful03

    Cadethopeful03 Prospective

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    Hey so I'm just curious I got a 27 Composite (30 Math 27 English 28 Reading and 24 Science) I was wondering if that 24 in science will put me at risk? I know that a 27 Composite is below average and I plan on retaking it at least two more times. (The first time I took it I got a 24 composite...Ouch) Also I have a 4.0 GPA and am ranked 1st in my class but go to a pretty non competitive school. How do you think I stand a far as being scholastically qualified?
     
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Cadethopeful,

    The science section of the ACT can be the trickiest section for students because many believe that it is about science when in fact it is all about reading and interpreting graphs and data sets. No science knowledge is actually tested in this exam. Get yourself one or more of the ACT test prep books like the one from the makers of the ACT (it has a red cover) or Princeton Review makes a good one. Spend the rest of the summer practicing exams. Your science score should be close to your reading score if you are attacking the exam properly. Practice. Practice. Practice. Then take the ACT as many times as you can (September, October, December). Don't settle for your current scores.
     
  17. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    With the essay, I reccomend that you write a 5 fully developed paragraph essay. I have taken the test 4 times and earned 10,9,10, and 10 on the essay. Although length does not necessarily guarantee a better score , it is better to be able to give more examples and details.

    With math, keep practicing and keep in mind they do not go above the pre-cal/trig level of math. If you are in a course far more advanced, don't hesitate to review some concepts you learned a year ago.

    Even though I am not applying to USMA, I noticed how the appointees appear to be scoring higher year after year based on the class profiles.

    I never established firm scores across the chart in one setting, but I was satisfied with my super scores after the 4th time.
     
  18. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    On that, I recommend you DO spend your first 5 minutes planning the essay.

    On my view, my essay had everything to have a decent score. When I began to write, however, I mixed my introduction with my first development paragraph. That is equal disaster. On my view, as I remember, my essay was pretty messy, and I got a 6... something tells me that, if it was better organized, I would have a better score.

    So, PREPARE, PLAN, EXECUTE.

    In military terms... you would normally PLAN, PREPARE, EXECUTE.

    On the ACT, you will have like this: PREPARE, PLAN, EXECUTE.

    PREPARE: Practice exams. Practice writing. Practice development of essay within the time limit.

    PLAN: ACT essay time: spend 5 minutes to get your idea FULLY developed. Do NOT jump straight into the essay - you might end-up getting good ideas, but a bad format. Bad esthetics = bad grade!

    Remember... Try 5 fully-developed paragraphs. Intro, 3 development paragraphs, conclusion.

    EXECUTE: Write your essay. STICK TO THE PLAN!

    (This plan of battle was put down by me based on several suggestions from test-maker books, prep course...)

    Again... I got a 6... but I did not follow the above. I think that, if i did follow the above, I would get a better grade. So, if anyone got a better grade, please give constructive-criticism to my plan of battle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  19. tonk002

    tonk002 Member

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    I got a 28 on the ACT, but I also got a 12 on the essay. I went from a 9 in April to a 12 in June. The thing to remember is that all the ACT essays are about some new technology or idea that you argue for or against. I spend about 2 minutes making a basic outline and then I write. You need to have a clear thesis in the intro that mentions the examples that you will be using. You must have examples that clearly argue in favor in your position. Another important point is to mention the opposing argument, and then explain why that idea is not valid in your opinion. It sounds kind of tricky, and it was for me on the first go. The second time is easier.:thumb:
     
  20. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    I sometimes had enough time to hit the 6th paragraph. However, It is by far better to know where you are ending your essay versus jamming. Making a 12 is indeed very difficult (10 got me into the 99th percentile this past testing date). I actually never practiced writing the essays at home. Perhaps due to cockiness, I always believed I was going to get a 9 or a 10; therefore, I focus on the regular English section. I never figured out how to get the 12.

    this is my format to get 9's or 10's

    intro- state the topic and choose a side; thesis statement
    paragraph 2- example 1
    paragraph 3- example 2
    paragraph 4- example 3 and/or address how the counterargument. Make the counter argument appear weak by using your views.
    paragraph 5- same as paragraph 4 if I have another example
    paragraph 6- conclusion (often not exactly a full paragraph)

    Without doubt, Math and English sections are very do-able to improve with practice. Use various test prep books and take many practice tests (I have done at least 25 practice tests over the years). You can find a few practice tests online. When you buy a test prep book, make copies of the practice test and redo them 6 months later. With the exception of the reading section, the results will still be fairly accurate.

    Don't settle with your scores If you know you have the potential to do better. Try to get it done the first 2 times and not have to take it 4 times like me (I now have less time to prepare for SAT Subject tests).

    My results:
    eng-33, with writing 32
    math-35
    reading-27- weakness
    science- 33

    I have never been tutored, taken test prep classes, nor make straight A's. Hard work trumps natural brainpower.
     

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