An ACT Success Story: Jake K


Diagnostic: 19
First ACT: 23
Final ACT: 28
College: Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

Jake K: Individualized Plan

Background: Diagnostic Composite: 19   

Jake started with a composite score of 19 on his initial diagnostic.  A junior at a competitive private school in the Los Angeles area, he struggled with math fundamentals and he self-identified as “bad at reading”.  He also worried that he “was never taught any grammar in school.” Jake was concerned that he would not get into a competitive college with his initial score yet was ambivalent about the ACT Prep process.  

How He Did It

April 2016: 2 hours total, 1x/week
Jake K met with our ACT tutor but initially cancelled many sessions during his second semester of his junior year (April - June 2016). 
June 2016: First ACT Exam  Composite: 23
After inconsistent appointments and limited prep time, Jake K still scored a 23 on his first official ACT Test four points higher than his initial diagnostic. This was a significant jump in his score after limited prep time. 

July 2016: Even in light of his improved score, Jake wanted to start back up with two 90 minute sessions after a brief break in June.  

August 2016: 6 hours total, 3x/week
Jake K felt motivated to commit to 3 sessions per week to make up for lost time. He vowed to stick to a consistent schedule.  He did 24 hours total at this pace in August. 

Game Plan for Jake K 

We divided the time:
Grammar: 1 hour
Reading: 1 hour
Math: 2 hours*
Science: 2 hours*
Homework: 2-3 hours/week (including timed practice exams)
*More time was allotted to Science and Math sections of the ACT as these were his weakest standardized subjects (all prep is individualized depending on students' strengths and weaknesses). 


August 2016: Second ACT Practice Exam  Composite: 26

Jake K showed increased enthusiasm and confidence in his abilities. After 24 hours of consistent ACT Standardized Test Prep, Jake scored an astonishing 26 on his second official ACT.

October 2016: Final ACT Exam  Composite: 28

Jake decided that he wanted to add in a couple more hours just to see if he could improve his August ACT score. He had climbed so significantly he felt that his initial diagnostic had no bearing on how much his score could lift. By the end of his ACT preparation, he improved his composite score by 9 points and, in his most improved section, he improved an incredible 14 points.  

College: Freshman Year 2017  1st Choice: Occidental College, CA

Jake K & The Ladder Method team were elated to find out that he was accepted into numerous universities including his top choice, Occidental College, where he began his freshman year Fall 2017.