Improving ACT Scores to Earn Additional College Aid

Mark Skoskiewicz gives examples of the impact of ACT scores on college financial aid packages. Although actual amounts vary by college, Mark explains how test score increases of as little as one point can translate into thousands of dollars of additional aid offered to students.

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Testing Timeline for the ACT

ACT Prep and Testing Timeline

 When students should plan to take a prep class and first official ACT

Early – 9th grade-only for highly advanced students taking AP classes and Calculus

Most Common – Summer after sophomore year or winter/spring of junior year

*Most metro high schools administer an in-school ACT to all juniors each April

ACT Retesting Opportunities after a Student’s Junior Year-

June, July, and September– all of these test dates will allow students to submit test scores in advance of the early action/early decision deadlines (depending on the college, the October test date may work as well)

For the regular college application process students can submit scores from the October or December ACT test dates in addition to those listed above


*Please contact me at with any questions about the prep/testing timeline

Strategies for Improving Test Performance

In this N.Y. Times article, test advisor Shaan Patel gives several suggestions for improving performance on the SAT; the advice is equally applicable for the ACT and PSAT.

Specific strategies for increasing test scores include:

  • begin preparation well in advance of the test date
  • practice testing under timed conditions
  • devote time and practice to reading and vocabulary development
  • maintain good physical health
  • practice written responses to writing prompts

Read full article here.

Colleges Awarding Scholarships Based Upon ACT or SAT Scores

As competition for students increases, many selective colleges are awarding significant merit scholarships based upon ACT or SAT scores. According to the article, students who score in the top 10% of all test-takers (28 or higher on the ACT, 2000 or higher on the SAT) can expect significant merit-based aid.

Read the entire article here.