Which Colleges Require All ACT Scores?
Some colleges are making the move away from standardized testing, placing less weight on these scores in admissions. Certain schools even offer test-optional policies, allowing students to submit other application components in lieu of SAT or ACT scores.
However, there are still many colleges requesting that a student’s entire testing history be sent to them, regardless of which sitting produces the highest score. They simply want to see all of your SAT and ACT scores. Because there is so much variety in colleges’ exam preferences, the only way to know for sure is to check each college’s individual policies.
Luckily, we did the heavy lifting for you. Below is a list of colleges from the 1,400 we analyzed that want all ACT scores sent to them. But first, here’s some standardized testing lingo to clear up any confusion.
ACT and Standardized Testing Lingo:
ACT Composite Score—the four test score categories (English, Math, Reading, Science) averaged and rounded to the nearest whole number. In other words, this is your ACT score, out of 36.
Score Choice—the ability to choose which official scores you send to schools from any single administration of the exam.
Superscore—the ability to send multiple scores and only have the highest from each section count. These scores are averaged into a new composite which is often higher than the composite from any one administration.
Test Optional—submitting a standardized test to test-optional schools is not required, though in most cases it is still recommended.
Schools That Want All ACT Scores:
One of the main metrics used for determining the ACT score needed to gain admission into a college is the middle 50%—colleges also sometimes call this reporting the 25th through 75th percentile. The middle 50% simply tells you what the bulk of admitted students scored on their ACT. While a score at the high end of (or above) the middle 50% will help your odds of admission at a school, keep in mind that 25% of students who gained admission scored below the middle 50%.
|Middle 50% ACT Scores
|What the School Says About Test Policy
|Carnegie Mellon University
|“All applicants are required to submit all results of either the old SAT Reasoning Test/SAT Test or the ACT Test…we give most weight to the highest score you’ve received on any of the exams.”
|“Submit all SAT and ACT scores…Coker College also super-scores between multiple ACT attempts as well.”
|“Applicants may list ACT or SAT results in their Common Application or Coalition Application to be considered during application review. Do not superscore or recalculate your scores in any way; send your scores exactly as you receive them.”
|College of Charleston
|“Take both the SAT and ACT and submit all scores from all test dates. We only require one, but we’ll use your highest test scores on file when making a decision on your application.”
|College of St. Benedict
|“Maybe your best math subscore came from your first test, your best reading subscore came from your second test and your best science subscore from your third test. Send us the results of each test and we will superscore them.”
|“Submit ALL official SAT and/or ACT scores. Duquesne University considers your highest section scores across all test dates that you submit.”
|East Georgia State College
|“Freshman applicants are asked to submit any and all test scores they may have in order to determine placement; however test scores are not required for admissibility.”
|“Elon requires ACT or SAT scores. Submit scores from all tests taken. Only the highest scores will be considered in the admission decision.”
|“Georgetown University does not participate in the Score Choice option available through the College Board. Georgetown requires that you submit scores from all test sittings of the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests.”
|“Gonzaga University would like students to provide all results from every administration of the SAT and/or ACT taken. Gonzaga will combine students’ best individual section scores from separate exams.”
|Johns Hopkins University
|“Please report scores from all tests you have taken exactly as you receive them, and admitted students will need to submit official testing from all tests taken in order to complete their enrollment.”
|Loyola University in New Orleans
|“Take the SAT and/or ACT and send all scores.”
|Ohio Wesleyan University
|“If you take a test multiple times, please send us all your test results. Even if one of your scores is low, it won’t harm you. To the contrary, we will pick and choose the best scores from the different sections of the test and give you a new “superscore.”
|“Since we use the highest separate scores from different test administrations (e.g., the highest evidenced-based reading and writing and the math scores from the SAT; the highest English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning sub-scores from the ACT) we strongly encourage students to provide Seattle University with all their results from all administrations of the ACT and or SAT.”
|“Send all SAT/ACT test scores through College Board. By sending all test scores, we will be able to superscore. Be sure to add Shorter University to the list of schools you want to receive your test scores at the time of your test registration.”
|University of California, Berkeley
|“In the College Board’s Score Choice module, ensure that all scores are sent to UC. We require all scores and will use the highest scores from a single administration.”
|“Applicants who have taken the SAT or ACT exam multiple times should report all scores from whichever test they choose to report. Applicants who choose to report scores from both the SAT and ACT should report all scores received on both tests.”
Why Some Schools Require All ACT Scores
Almost all of the schools listed above state that their primary interest is in the highest ACT scores you achieved, as many of them are creating a “superscore” from your best performances. However, colleges wouldn’t ask to see all your ACT scores if they weren’t interested in the low scores as well. Colleges can glean a fair amount of information about a student, most notably how well they’re able to improve their ACT score throughout multiple sittings.
How Does My Lowest Score Affect My Chances?
It’s unlikely that a low ACT score will dramatically affect your odds of getting accepted into a college if you’ve only taken the exam two or three times. With that said, it’s still in your best interest to try to perform your best, as dramatic variances between scores can lead admissions officers to wonder about your academic aptitude and weaken your application’s strength. Likewise, taking the test four, five, or six times can cause admissions officials to question your test preparation and the seriousness with which you take your studies.
If there is a good reason for a poor ACT score—for example, you were recovering from a concussion—many college applications have space to explain such occurrences. The purpose of an application is to learn about you; use an “Additional Information” section share the reason why you underperformed and what you learned from the experience.
Should I Send All My ACT Scores to Schools that Don’t Require All Scores?
There is no reason to send all of your ACT scores to a school if they don’t require them, even if they superscore. A superscore is when a college takes the highest score from each subsection, even if those scores come from different test dates, to calculate a new score using your best performances. In order to put yourself in the best light possible, choose to send the sittings where you had your best section scores. Learn more about superscoring in our blog Which Colleges Superscore the ACT?
Other posts you may enjoy:
- How Many SAT/ACT Practice Tests Should You Take?
- Can a Good SAT/ACT Score Offset a Bad GPA?
- What is a Good ACT Score?
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