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Minh Nguyen

Do Colleges See All ACT Scores?

You want your college application to represent yourself in the best light possible. You want college admissions officers to see your awesome grades, extracurriculars, and of course, your great test scores.
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Perhaps it took you several attempts to get the score you were happy with, or you had a bit of bad luck on one of your ACT tries. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want a low score to negatively affect your chances of getting accepted into your dream school.

Fortunately, colleges only see the ACT scores you choose to send in. This cuts down on the costs you have to pay to send the scores electronically, and it also levels the playing field for those who may not have gotten the awesome score they wanted the first time around.

However, this part can get a little tricky, so read it a few times through to make sure you get it right so that you don’t put all your hard work in jeopardy. You’ve made it this far, so pay attention to these important technical details.

Highest Score Only

For the schools only consider your highest score, it’s best to just send in the best ACT score you got. After all, why leave it up to chance that a low test score could subliminally steer the admissions officer away from putting your application in the pile of accepted candidates?

Colleges That Require All Scores Sent In

Some colleges require you to send in all of your ACT scores. When you register for an ACT test, you have 4 free score reports at your disposal, which can only be used if you select the option before you take the test. I strongly recommend that you only use the free option for the colleges that require the submission of all scores.


Other colleges superscore your test, which means that they only consider the highest subscores (English, math, reading, and science) you receive on the ACT regardless of test date. In this case, be sure to look at all the ACT tests you took and submit each test that contains the highest subscore.

Make sure to check and double-check the college admissions guidelines carefully to make sure you followed their specific directions.

After you get all the technical details handled, congratulations you’re done! It’s hard work, but remember to keep your eyes on the prize and see it all the way through. The job isn’t done once you leave the test room or receive your score. It’s only over with once your score is received by the college.

About Minh Nguyen

Minh's passion for helping students succeed grew during his time as a career counselor at the University of California, Irvine. Now, he's helping students all over the world by spilling SAT/ACT secrets through blog posts on Magoosh. When he's not busy tutoring or writing, he enjoys playing guitar, traveling, and talking about himself in third-person.

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