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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
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800

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When is it worth retaking the ACT for college admissions?

Feeling a bit anxious here - got my ACT score back and it's a 21. I'm aiming for schools with slightly higher average scores, so I'm torn about whether I should retake it. What do you think makes a significant enough difference in scores that would justify going through the whole testing process again?

8 months ago

It's completely understandable to feel anxious about test scores, but let's address your situation. The decision to retake the ACT really depends on the specific schools you're targeting and how much lower your score is than their middle 50% range. If your score is more than a couple of points below the 25th percentile of admitted students' scores at your desired colleges, it's usually worthwhile to try and improve your score. Now, a significant difference would typically be an increase of 3 or more points, as that can put you in a higher percentile and make you a more competitive candidate. Additionally, if you didn't have the chance to prepare thoroughly before the test, or if you faced any unforeseen circumstances on test day, retaking the ACT after proper preparation or under better conditions could lead to a score that more accurately reflects your abilities. Schools like to see growth and improvement, so if you retake the test and score higher, it can show your dedication and resilience. Plus, some schools also superscore, meaning they take the highest score from each section across multiple test dates, which can be very advantageous. All in all, if you're up for the effort and believe you can better your score, it could certainly be a step worth taking.

8 months ago

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