Gabrielle Leavitt knows the benefits that come from practicing. As a figure skater, runner, and tennis player who recently earned her black belt in karate, she spends a lot of time refining her skills in the activities she enjoys. For the 17-year-old rising senior from Hatboro-Horsham High School, preparing for the ACT test was no different.
Gabby originally worked with A+ Test Prep and Tutoring in preparation for the SAT Subject Test: Math 2. Her mom learned about A+ by word of mouth and doing a little research. When it came time to start test prep, Gabby decided to focus on the ACT since there weren’t many study materials available for the newly updated SAT test, and A+ was a natural choice since she had had a positive experience the first time.
Gabby had previously worked with tutor Barbara Lommer for the SAT Subject Test and had such a good experience that she decided to continue working with Barbara in preparation for the ACT. “I really liked how the ACT tutoring program was put together, with the online account and the ability to access your test scores immediately. I liked the instant feedback part of it,” she said.
Gabby needed a lot of help boosting her score on the English section of the ACT. She struggled in grammar, and put a lot of work into improving that skill. “Gabby’s grammar truly improved by leaps and bounds—an achievement that will certainly be helpful beyond the ACT,” Lommer said. Gabby had initially scored a 22 on the English section, but with Lommer’s help she raised her score to a 34.
Lommer analyzed Gabby’s progress and made a decision to alter their strategy toward the end of the program. “We knew that Gabby had a real chance for a composite score of more than 30, and so we focused entirely on Gabby's remaining weaknesses,” Lommer explained.
Gabby also put in a lot of extra time, completing almost all of the ACT practice tests available through A+. Going into test day, Gabby was a little nervous, but felt prepared. “I felt like I knew what I needed to do in order to do well,” she said.
“By the time of her ACT, she was 100% ready. She really nailed it,” Lommer said. Gabby scored a composite score of 31, which was 6 points higher than her original score of 25.
She credits her improvement to her dedication to practicing and the support of her tutor. “If you do what your tutor asks you to do, your scores really will improve. It was really cool that I had access to so many practice tests,” she said.
“The repetition of doing so many practice tests was really helpful to me. You just get better as time goes on—the more you practice, the better you get. Having my tutor there to explain why a certain answer is better than another was really valuable, too.”
With a strong ACT score, Gabby now looks forward to making decisions about where to apply to college and possible majors. She is interested in science and is considering studying to become a doctor. One school she plans to apply to is the University of Michigan, where she could hopefully continue practicing a sport she loves—figure skating.
With Gabby’s strong work ethic, she will have no problem working toward fulfilling her dreams. Congratulations, Gabby!