High GPA vs High ACT Score

A 4.0 GPA does not automatically translate into a high ACT score. Every few months, thousands of parents throughout the United States are completely mystified when their honor-roll student receives an average score on the ACT. This is not unusual and the explanation is simple: the ACT measures a different skillset than GPA.

Success in school: Classes in school reward hard work, memory, and focus. By completing homework assignments, paying attention in class, looking over notes before tests, memorizing facts, and turning all assigned work, students can achieve a high GPA. Teachers commonly give partial credit when students understand the general idea but miss a few details on a test question. Sometimes they raise or lower grades based on each student’s attitude and work ethic. They may also provide extra credit opportunities for students who struggle. While this encourages positive behavior, it does not necessarily reward the type of thinking that leads to a high ACT score.

Success on the ACT:  The ACT measures reasoning, attention to detail, ability to comprehend quickly, and mastery of basic math and grammar concepts. No partial credit is given, time is a major factor, and no extra points are awarded to students who work hard, have a positive attitude, or are highly creative. The test is graded objectively, based entirely on how many questions each student answers correctly relative to other students.

Achieving a higher score: Through intensive study and practice, students can significantly improve their ACT score. However, they need to know WHAT to study and HOW to practice. For example, the majority of ACT math questions can be answered by understanding basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry–there is no calculus on the ACT. More importantly, it is not enough to simply know the concepts, students need to know when to use them. They need to understand the types of situations to which the concepts can be applied. This comes with mindful practice and exposure to many ACT questions. The science section does not reward student for scientific knowledge, so studying of a chemistry or physics book will do not good. Instead, they need to understand how scientific experiments work, and how to read the results of experiments and studies presented in graphs, charts, and tables. This can be tricky for students who have never taken an ACT practice test. The English section requires a strong fluency in technical grammar and rhetoric skills. With all the texting kids do these days, they are typically not exposed to proper grammar. This can hurt them on the ACT, even if they have managed to receive A’s in their English classes. Reading books and articles can be helpful, but learning and understanding the clear-cut rules of grammar are the most important element of success for this section of the ACT.

Our ACT Prep Tutoring - High Performance TutoringAward-Winning Method: For the past several years High Performance Tutoring has helped hundreds of Utah students improve their ACT score. We have a 95% success rate and the average score increase of our students is 3 to 5 points. We know exactly which concepts and skills are emphasized on the ACT and how students must use them. In our program, students work one-on-one with one of our qualified ACT prep tutors in Utah for 6 to 12 weeks. We expose them to a wide variety of concepts, testing strategies, and practice problems. The training is scheduled so we meet students multiple times per week, and assign homework between sessions so they are constantly thinking about ACT prep material. The training continues right up to the date of the test so that everything is fresh and students are ready to give their best performance when it counts.

Our team of ACT tutors in Salt Lake City have been with us the longest but we have expanded our team so that we now have several ACT prep tutors in Provo and a smaller team of ACT prep tutors in Ogden. Call us today at (801) 508 – 4080 to learn more and enroll your child in the most outstanding ACT prep course in Utah. Even if your child is still a little young to take the ACT, you can never begin planning too early. We are happy to share advice about what steps to take now to lead to higher scores later.

Your child’s education is our first priority!

2 thoughts on “High GPA vs High ACT Score

  1. That’s great advice. TY for sharing. My son has a 3.8 GPA at skyline but he scored only a 22 on the ACT. It is comforting to know that this is not unusual. What prep books do you recommend we use? And how much do you charge for your course?

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