ACT/SAT Scores and Grades

My DS scored a 28 first time and with Sylvan and two retakes increased to a 32. That helped him get appts to USNA and USAFA. But, all the other things in his body of work I assume helped. He had a lot of leadership and athletic acccomplishments. Don't neglect the body of work just to increase your test score. Also, apply ROTC. Cast your net wide.
Try taking both the SAT and ACT again. You could take the SAT again in May, June, August, October, November, and even December, and those test scores will be released before the deadline for completing your application (usually last day of January, unless you have an early application deadline). In the meantime, take plenty of practice tests ( has a link to Kahn Academy that will help you focus on your weakest areas and it offers practice tests). As you take practice tests, go over your wrong answers to figure out what you're missing and why. You don't want to keep making the same mistakes over again. Ask teachers at your school if they will tutor you or if they know someone who will do that. If you can afford it, try a review course for the ACT and/or SAT. At this point, your grades and scores would probably be too low to be a competitive applicant. If you're struggling in math and hard sciences, see if you can do something over the summer to improve either through community college summer courses or online courses (I think BYU has an online program that some high schools allow you to use for credit) or working with a teacher or student from your school. Academics are a big factor in the application but you also have to be physically fit (CFA test) and have leadership experience, community service activities, and athletic accomplishments. See if you can participate in girls/boys state (it lasts for about a week during the summer b/t junior and senior year). Ask your counselor.
I am attending Girls state this summer and I was also deemed competitive and I am attending the Summer Seminar this summer!
It's great that you're doing girls state, I would just warn you about the summer seminar: it's not an indication of whether you will get in or not. They have a lot of applicants so they pick the qualified ones and from there mostly give out random acceptances. It's a good opportunity to see what the academy is like and I hope you take advantage of it. Right now I would say do your best to prepare for girls state and try to get to nations, because that will look good on your application.
My DS scored low initially. He took a course that was 160 hours of ACT training. It was intense. He raised his score 9 points and recently received an appointment. You can do it!

I personally started out with a 23 act and got it up to a 29 after 160 hours of tutoring.

Hiker and Trimble, can you share what kind of test prep resources you used?
There is a test prep school in NJ called Y2 Academy. Also worth noting the son of the owner is at USAFA - seemed like a good fit for DS. DS is a great student and had a strong GPA and all the AP courses, just struggled on standardized tests. At Y2 he did multiple practice tests. This is the only time I think studying to the test is what mattered. He knew the scores needed to be at a certain level to be competitive for USAFA so set his goal and worked hard.
He took it as an 8th grader and scored a 25. As a 9th grader he scored a 30 and he scored a 32 as a 10th grader. Finally, in the 11th grade he scored a 34 with a 35 in English and Math.

This is a good point. There is nothing stopping anyone from starting to take the tests young, except perhaps money. If anxiety on standardized tests is an issue, start testing in middle school. These will be ‘throw away’ attempts, as the scores do not need to be reported out anywhere. These early attempts will also familiarize a student with the format, timing, test day environment, etc. No one needs to provide a reason for registering for the test in early grades, and they have no problem taking your registration money! One of my kids took the ACT in 8th grade to continue his eligibility in a national GT program. At the time it was good to then know where he stood in each subject, even though college was a ways off for him. Just something to think about.