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Take Another Swing: Retake the ACT!


The score you–or your college-bound kiddo–received on your ACT should rarely determine whether or not the exam is retaken. Unless the composite is well above 30 ( in which case the law of diminishing returns usually kicks in) any score from pretty darn terrific to pretty darn terrible warrants another giving it another go.

Most Students Increase Scores

It’s quite simple, really. Because you control which schools receive which scores, there is absolutely no downside to retaking the test once, twice, or for you highly determined types, even three times. If, for example, you achieve a composite of a “24” in February, you can opt to wait on reporting the score until you see how you fare when you retake the exam in March, April, or June. Chances are, you will indeed beat your prior score: I have it on the very best authority that fifty-seven percent of students increase their composites on their retakes. In short, you have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

Scaffolding–Working Your Way Up

In fact, re-taking the ACT can be an important part of anyone’s college acceptance strategy. I call it “scaffolding”–you build upon your prior score until you reach the level your desired school’s prefer to see in their applicants. It is also a way to build your confidence and to ward off that unwelcome feeling of being overwhelmed when your score is several points away from where you want or need it to be.  In my ACT Prep business, fully half of my clientele is comprised of students who worked with us previously to obtain a nice baseline score–and having tasted a bit of success–want to improve upon it. Scaffolding works for these students, and there is no reason to believe it won’t work for you too!

What Next?

Find out more about our Targeted Tutoring using the scaffolding method at our website.



Stephanie Kennedy

Stephanie Kennedy is president of Kennedy Educational Services and co-founder of My College Planning Team. Stephanie holds a Masters in Counseling and College Student Development. A former admissions counselor, she has read hundreds of college applications and assisted thousands of students in their college adjustment and educational path. With her hands-on perspective, she guides students and families in a successful college search that goes far beyond the acceptance letter.

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