Should I test again?

Many students test twice, once as a junior and again as a senior. You should definitely consider retesting if you had any problems during testing, such as misunderstanding the directions, or feeling ill.

You may also want to consider retesting if you don't believe that your scores accurately represent your abilities, especially if you see a discrepancy between your ACT scores and your high school grades, or if you have subsequently completed coursework in the areas covered by the ACT.

If you test more than once, you determine which set of scores are sent to colleges or scholarship programs. ACT reports scores from only one test date per report.

How will you do on a retest?

Research shows that of students from the 2013 graduating class who took the ACT more than once:

  • 57% increased their Composite score on the retest
  • 21% had no change in their Composite score on the retest
  • 22% decreased their Composite score on the retest

For students with an initial ACT Composite score between 13 and 29, the typical ACT Composite score from the second testing is about 1 point higher (see Table below).

  • The lower your initial ACT Composite score, the more likely your second score will be higher than the first score.
  • The higher your initial ACT Composite score, the more likely your second score will be the same as or lower than the first score.

 

Example for how to read the table below:
For students who received an ACT Composite score of 20 the first time they tested:

  • the typical ACT Composite score from the second testing was 21;
  • the middle 50% of students with an initial score of 20 received an ACT Composite score of 20, 21, or 22 the second time they took the test;
  • 57% of students increased their scores, 21% scored the same, and 22% saw their scores decrease.

 

Summary Information for Retesting Graduates By Initial ACT Composite Score

ACT Composite Score from first testingACT Composite Score from second testingPercentage of students whose scores changed or remained the same from first to second testing*
Typical ScoreRange for middle 50% of studentsIncreasedRemained
the same
Decreased
35** 35 34 to 35 16 41 43
34** 34 33 to 35 33 32 35
33 33 32 to 34 41 27 31
32 32 31 to 33 46 24 30
31 31 30 to 32 48 24 28
30 30 29 to 32 50 23 27
29 30 28 to 31 51 23 26
28 29 27 to 30 53 21 25
27 28 27 to 29 54 21 24
26 27 26 to 28 55 22 24
25 26 25 to 27 55 22 23
24 25 24 to 26 56 22 22
23 24 23 to 25 56 22 22
22 23 22 to 24 57 21 22
21 22 21 to 23 57 21 22
20 21 20 to 22 57 21 22
19 20 19 to 21 57 20 22
18 19 18 to 20 58 20 22
17 18 17 to 19 57 20 23
16 17 16 to 18 58 20 22
15 16 15 to 17 59 20 21
14 15 14 to 16 61 20 19
13 14 13 to 15 67 20 14
12 14 13 to 15 76 17 7
11 13 12 to 14 88 9 4

* Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding
** Results for these ACT Composite scores are based on a relatively small number of students with these scores.

Table based on: over 772,000 students from the graduating class of 2013 (43%) who took the ACT two or more times. The first two sets of scores for these students were used in the completion of this analysis.