Why repeat the ACT Test?

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 by Brian Tingleff | Test Preparation

The ACT Test is designed to be a predictor of college academic readiness. So why do so many students take the test more than once? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a test, when you take it over?

When taking the ACT Test, you’re “testing” your student’s readiness based on a single point in time. There are a lot of factors that can influence student results on test day, including:

  • what academic content your school has covered in any given subject by test day
  • their health that day
  • did they get enough sleep the night before
  • what they ate for breakfast before the test, and more

According to ACT, in 2015 45% of students had taken the test more than once, and by 2017 more than 2 million students took the ACT. That’s a lot of students returning for a better score.

Retaking the test can result in a higher score that can translate into meeting part of the admissions requirement for a specific college or university or expand the pool of institutions to consider. Better still, it may make your son or daughter eligible for additional financial aid or allow them to complete for special academic scholarships.

According to ACT research, “57% of students who took the test more than once increased their ACT Composite score.”

If you take your initial ACT test in the fall of your junior year, you are automatically underestimating your academic abilities. The ACT is designed to reflect your academic preparation for the entire junior year. To only include a portion of the first semester is not a true reflection of your student’s ability. But it may be a useful baseline to help better predict areas for further preparation.

It is not uncommon for students to excel in either the math and science subtests, or possibly the English and reading subtests. Treating the first attempt as a baseline test may help to validate existing strengths. The results from that first exam can be a “road map” to preparing for a second test a few months later.

Often the struggle with scheduling the ACT test revolves around other activities planned for the junior year, such as sports seasons, extracurricular events and travel plans. When the spring is just too busy to find an open ACT testing date, then the choice is often pushed backwards into the fall of junior year. Now that ACT has committed to a July testing date, those with spring conflicts can delay a second testing to the summer, before their senior year begins.

The added benefit of the June and July test dates is that the full junior year of knowledge has been completed. This assures the best chance to achieve an important score along the way to achieving your student’s college plans.

If you live in the Des Moines area and would like to explore taking a free ACT practice test with us to establish a baseline score, please reach out to us at: collegetutorsia.com.