Sending your ACT scores to the colleges of your choice is extremely easy once you understand what to expect. Assuming you studied for the ACT or the SAT, you already know that preparation almost always involves careful planning, and sending your scores to college is no exception.
Every ACT registrant has a few different options when it comes to sending their scores to college. Let’s have a look at the 3 different kinds of score reports a student can request:
1. ACT free report:
When you register for the ACT, you are able to choose sending four free score reports. This means, however, if you do not perform as well as you had hoped, the school is still going to see this score. Most would advise against choosing the ACT free report because of the lack of control over whether you will be sending your best (or worst) score to the college of your dreams. That being said, there are some schools that require all ACT scores to be sent to their admissions. Some selective schools including Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, and University of Pennsylvania, among others, require all ACT scores to be sent. There is not a fully comprehensive list available of schools that require all ACT scores sent, so it’s recommended to double check on the school website, as their stance is generally laid out clearly regarding ACT scores. Rest assured, however, that most schools comply with the ACT Score Choice, which we are about to discuss.
2. Regular Report:
The ACT Score Choice allows you to send only scores from specific testing dates to the college of your choice. Note that this does not include individual section scores, however. This is nice because you have the chance to highlight only your highest scores to admissions. The cost to send one test score to each college is $12, so depending on your situation, this can add up quickly. Let’s imagine you have 7 schools you’d like to apply to. All of these schools allow the ACT superscore, which means they take the best scores from each section of the ACT to form a new “super” composite score. You’d like to send three tests to each school because on test 1 you scored highest in Reading and English and on test 2 you scored highest on Math and on test 3 you scored highest in Science. The cost to send these 21 tests to 7 schools adds up to $252. This can be as expensive or as affordable as you make it. The key here is that you have the choice.
3. Rush Report:
If time is of the essence, the ACT has got you covered here as well, but, per usual, it’s going to cost you more. These rush reports will set you back $16.50 each. Regular reports take up to a week to be processed, whereas rush reports are processed within 2 days and are received by the school of your choice within 3-4 business days. It’s important to keep organized with admissions deadlines to avoid requiring rush reporting.
Now that you better understand the ACT Score choice, here are some tips to better plan your testing:
Take The Test At Least Twice:
It’s in your best interest to take the ACT more than once because your scores can improve with familiarity and additional focused practice. Assuming you study between the tests, there is no reason your score should not improve. In addition, if you apply section-specific studying strategies for ACT superscoring, you could focus on studying and improving specific sections at a time and eventually reach a higher composite superscore after taking 2-3 tests.
None of the ACT tests you are taking are make or break in regards to your admissions into your top school (assuming you don’t need to send in all tests). However, you should not use this as an excuse to not study or prepare for the test. The advantage of taking the ACT multiple times is to improve upon pinpointed weaknesses and/or reach higher section scores, not to slack off.
Aim to hit your target score within 4 tests:
You should go into the ACT with a solid studying plan and rest assured that you can reach your target score. If the schools you are applying to superscore, then they can pull the highest section scores for a higher overall score. But with the costs of sending these scores as well as the time spent studying and taking the test, it’s best to go into this with an idea of the maximum amount of times you’d like to take the ACT.
Now that you understand the ACT Score Choice, your next step will be to make the purchases! On your online ACT account, you simply click on “Send Your Scores.” A list of all tests you’ve taken will appear and you will select the date you’d like to send as well as input the school code that you would like to send it to. You have the option to select standard or priority reports.
If you’re not into technology and stuff, you have a few other ways to get your score reports to your school choices:
- Mail in your downloaded score report request form
- Call the ACT and have them send it (This costs $15 on top of the $16.50 because they only send rush reports)
- Send a letter of request to the ACT.
Hopefully this has helped shed some light on how to get your ACT scores to your preferred schools. Rest assured that if you take the time to strategize your studying and score reporting, there is little stopping you from getting into your top school!
About the Author:
Kristine Thorndyke works for Quesbook, an ACT test prep service that offers students free personalized studying as well as comprehensive study resources.
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