You don't have much to lose, and you can potentially raise your score and significantly boost your chances of getting in. Exclusive: Want to learn how to improve your SAT score by points?
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements. Even though UC Irvine likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 24 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application.
There are so many applicants scoring 27 and above that a 24 will look academically weak. Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.
This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 31 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can.
When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools. Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score. Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting. We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Studying for the ACT instead?
Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points? This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not. Typically this means that SAT subject tests are not required, but submitting them can showcase particular strengths.
Do you put in small amounts of practice every day, or strenuous hours for a couple short periods each year? Why do you allocate your time this way? How have you shown off your talent or skill to other people? Have you won competitions, done performances, gotten into showcases, or shined artistically? Now, as the varsity MVP, you have led your team to a first place finish in the regional conference and have placed second at the state level.
As the captain, you have settled numerous feuds between players, as well as spiked team morale toward the end of the seasons. In this case, you could discuss the valuable leadership and teamwork experience you have gained through playing on the tennis team. As a flute player who has not yet won any big competitions or played in any honor ensembles, you visited the local senior center to entertain the residents each week without fail. There, you found great meaning in your flute playing — sharing your love of music with others.
Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for life. For example, participation in an honors enrichment program or enrollment in an academy geared toward a profession, or even a particularly enlightening conversation with an adult — just to name a few. If you choose to write about educational barriers you have faced, what personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge?
How has the process shaped you as a person? An added plus would be talking about passing it forward and helping those in your purview obtain the knowledge you did from your experiences. Choose to write only about one of the two. Here is an example for educational opportunity: You applied to a specialized program in your school and was accepted. It allowed you to work intensely in a specific STEM field such as engineering, and landed you an internship with local engineering companies, in addition to giving you an opportunity to work with elementary school students in budding engineering programs.
Here is an example for educational barrier: As a student at a school that did not offer any honors classes, you enrolled in online lectures to learn the subject you were passionate about — Human Geography. Afterwards, you spoke to your school administrators about high-achieving students needing higher-level courses, and they agreed to talk to the local community college to start a pipeline for students like you. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge.
How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? This prompt asks you to connect this obstacle with your academic situation, so it should have had an impact on your performance in school.
It could mean your intellectual goals or your struggle to balance homework with your part-time job, and perhaps the strain in your relationships with peers and teachers due to such time constraints. As a result, think of the challenge first before deliberating whether it could be linked to something academic-related. Make sure to talk about what you learned from the challenge, detailing growth and maturity along the way. You may not have risen above the challenge yet, and may have even been defeated, or may be conquering it right now.
In all cases, development must exist, so be sure to document them. What has become different because of this challenge? Here are some examples: Your parents underwent a bitter, drawn-out divorce that deeply scarred you and your siblings, especially your little brother who was attending elementary school at the time.
He was constantly distraught and melancholy and seemed to be falling further and further behind in his schoolwork.
You took care of him, but at the cost of your grades plummeting. However, through this trial, you committed yourself to protect your family at all costs. You focused on computer science in high school, hoping to major in it and save up enough money for his college tuition by the time he applies.
Through this mission, your resolve strengthened and reflected in your more efficient and excellent performance in class later on. Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college.
What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today?
Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school.
Why was the challenge significant to you? Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone? Think about an academic subject that inspires you. If that applies to you, what have you done to further that interest? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject honors, AP, IB, college or university work? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that? What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community? Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both?
What did you learn from your effort? How would your chances improve with a better score? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? If that applies to you, what have you done to further that interest? You continued to develop apps and games even after AP Computer Science concluded for the year. Here are a few examples: You found your AP United States government class fascinatingly complex, so you decided to campaign for a Congressional candidate who was challenging the incumbent in your district.
Directions You will have 8 questions to choose from. If you choose to write about educational barriers you have faced, what personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? What has become different because of this challenge? If you take it more than 6 times, colleges start wondering why you're not improving with each test.
Now, as the varsity MVP, you have led your team to a first place finish in the regional conference and have placed second at the state level. The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy. We'll cover those details next. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?