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, running out of time, or not feeling well.
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 completed coursework or an intensive review in the subject areas included in the ACT since you tested.
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 the students 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 12 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;
- 58% of students increased their scores, 21% scored the same, and 21% saw their scores decrease.
Summary Information for Retesting By Initial ACT Composite Score
|ACT Composite Score from first testing||ACT Composite Score from second testing||Percentage of students whose scores from first to second testing*|
|Typical Score||Range for middle 50% of students||Increased||Remained |
|35**||35||34 to 35||10||41||50|
|34**||34||33 to 35||32||33||35|
|33||33||32 to 34||39||28||34|
|32||32||31 to 33||43||25||32|
|31||31||30 to 32||46||24||30|
|30||30||29 to 32||48||24||28|
|29||30||28 to 31||51||22||27|
|28||29||27 to 30||53||22||25|
|27||28||26 to 29||53||22||25|
|26||27||26 to 28||54||22||24|
|25||26||25 to 27||55||22||22|
|24||25||24 to 26||56||22||22|
|23||24||23 to 25||57||22||21|
|22||23||22 to 24||58||21||20|
|21||22||21 to 23||58||21||21|
|20||21||20 to 22||58||21||21|
|19||20||19 to 21||58||21||21|
|18||19||18 to 20||58||21||22|
|17||18||17 to 19||57||20||22|
|16||17||16 to 18||58||20||22|
|15||16||15 to 17||58||20||22|
|14||15||14 to 16||58||21||21|
|13||14||13 to 15||62||22||16|
|12||13||12 to 14||71||20||9|
|11||13||12 to 14||86||10||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: approximately 660,400 junior or senior students who took the ACT for the first time on a national test date in 2008-09 or 2009-10 and retested a second time during this period. Some students tested first as a junior; others as a senior. The length of time between the first and second testing was not taken into account. Students might have tested more than two times, but only their first two sets of scores were used in this analysis.