Test Prep

Can You Retake the ACT?

The ACT® placement test can often take you off guard since it is one of the more rigorous tests you will ever have to take in high school. Because of this, you are allowed to retake the test up to 12 times; however, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared when you take the test the first time. Be sure to check with the Retest Restrictions when deciding about retaking the test.

Thorough preparation is the key to achieving the highest score possible. If you don’t get a good score on the first test, retaking the test helps you set goals and prioritize your studying based on areas you can improve in. Because you will be taking the whole test and not just sections, don’t forget to study the sections that you excel in as well.

Many students will take the test two or three times, and will often take the test as a junior and as a senior. Taking the ACT multiple times allows you to know exactly what to expect the next time you take the test. Experiencing the test first hand is better than any amount of preparation. According to ACT.org, 57 percent of the students increased their composite score, 21 percent had no change, and 22 percent decreased their score.

Keep in mind that you get to choose which scores are sent to colleges, so if you do worse the second time, you can send the previous better scores instead. All scores from any given test must be reported, however, so if you do better on the writing test but worse on the composite score, you will have to choose which you feel is best to send to your chosen colleges. Or, you can always retake the test again.

If you want to retake the test, you have the same registration options as your first time. Each time you retake the test you will have to pay the same amount in fees as well.

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