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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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ACT score of 18 - What're my options?

Hey guys, I just got my ACT score back, and it's an 18. A bit bummed, but I'll make the best of it. What colleges would you recommend that I look into? And also, should I consider retaking the test?

7 months ago

Hey there! An ACT score of 18 can still provide you with some college options, particularly at less-selective schools. You might consider looking into state schools, local community colleges, or some private institutions without strict test score requirements. Start by researching colleges in your region that regularly accept students with an 18 ACT (you can find this information on their website, which will likely include data on the middle 50% of test scores from accepted students), and evaluate them based on factors like location, size, majors offered, and campus life.

Regarding retaking the ACT, it might be a good idea if you think you can improve your score after putting in more preparation. Many students find that they score higher after their first attempt, as they are more familiar with the test's format and time constraints. Consider using test prep resources like those available on the ACT's official website or Khan Academy. Also, take practice tests to gauge your progress and determine which areas still need more attention.

Additionally, remember that test scores aren't the only factor in college admissions, so make sure to focus on other aspects of your application, such as your GPA, extracurricular activities, and essays. Showcasing outstanding qualities in other areas can increase your chances of being admitted to your desired schools despite a relatively lower ACT score.

Finally, remember that many schools are now test-optional, so if your application is otherwise highly competitive and you just had a bad day, you may want to consider not submitting your ACT score at all. You can read a more in-depth overview of test-optional policies on CollegeVine's blog: https://blog.collegevine.com/does-test-optional-mean-test-optional/.

Good luck with your college search!

7 months ago

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