We can help you get into your dream school.

Sign up for Magoosh SAT or Magoosh ACT Prep.

David Recine

Getting Your ACT Essay Rescored

Sometimes you’ll take a test, look at your score, and think “this can’t be right.” If this happens to you on the ACT Essay, you can request a rescore.

ACT essay rescore -magoosh

How does an ACT Essay rescore work?

ACT scores for essays are graded by two professional scorers. Both of them use the ACT’s official Writing Test Rubric. The rescore follows the exact same procedure, but with two new scorers. If the two new people who score your ACT Essay get a different score than the original examiners, your ACT score will be updated. If your score changes, the new scorers can choose to raise your score from the original score you received, or lower it. There’s also a chance that the new scoring session could get the same result a second time. In that case, your ACT Essay score won’t change.

How do you request an ACT Essay rescore, and how much does it cost?

To get your ACT Essay rescored, submit a request for a rescore in writing. Your request will need to include the following: your name, as it appeared on your ACT exam registration forms, the ID on your ACT registration account, and the month, day, year, and location of your exam. You’ll also need to include a check for $50 made out to ACT Student Services. All rescore requests must be sent no later than three months after you received your initial ACT scores.

Written requests should be mailed to:

  • ACT Student Services
    P.O. Box 414
    Iowa City, IA 52243-0414

The ACT’s scoring team will notify you of any score changes within 3-5 weeks of the request.

Can you request a rescore of your multiple choice ACT questions along with the essay rescore?

Yes you can! If you think your multiple choice answers in ACT Reading, Math, English, or Science may have been scored incorrectly, you can request a “hand-score” of your ACT. In this case, a human scorer checks the answer key for your test, to see if the exam’s automated scoring system made any mistakes.

The rules and fees for hand-scoring of the multiple choice parts of the ACT are the same as the rules for ACT Essay rescores: submit your request in writing to the address above within three months of getting your scores, and pay ACT Student Services $50 for a hand-scoring of the multiple choice portion of the ACT. If you want a rescore on both the essay and the multiple choice sections, you can write a check for a total of $100. As with the essay, your score on the rest of the ACT could go up, go down, or remain unchanged. And again, it will take 3-5 weeks to get your results.

Things to consider before requesting a rescore

Rescores are expensive and time-consuming. If you’re thinking of getting your ACT Essay rescored (or getting a rescore on the rest of the test), you want to be sure that it’s worth it. As I mentioned above, there’s a chance your score could go down. And if it does, the new, lower score will become your official score. Your score could also stay the same, which would mean you wasted $50 per rescore request.

Still, sometimes a rescore can help you, or at the very least can’t hurt. It’s best to do a rescore if your scores are just below the minimum requirement to get into school, or if you’re very confident that mistakes were made with your score the first time around.

About David Recine

David is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007 and has worked with students from every continent. Currently, David lives in a small town in the American Upper Midwest. When he’s not teaching or writing, David studies Korean, plays with his son, and takes road trips to Minneapolis to get a taste of city life. Follow David on Google+ and Twitter!

Leave a Reply

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!