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Thomas Broderick

Should I Cancel my ACT Scores?

So you’ve just walked out of the ACT, probably for the first time, and you feel a little down. You feel worse than down. You feel like this:


cancel act scores -magoosh


You wouldn’t be the first, nor the last person to feel like they completely bombed the ACT. But then a thought comes to mind. ‘If I cancel my scores, no one (especially my parents) will ever know how poorly I did. I’ll save myself the embarrassment. Yeah, I’ll cancel my scores.’

So should you cancel your scores?




I hope I made myself clear enough. In this article I hope to explain that no matter how down you feel, DO NOT CANCEL YOUR SCORES. I’m not even going to tell you how to do it in this article; that’s how strongly I feel.


Mr. B’s Reasons

If you cancel your scores, you’re basically doing two things.


cancel act scores -magoosh




cancel act scores -magoosh


There is no better way to burn time and money than cancelling ACT scores. Even if you took the ACT without any preparation, you still invested at least $40 and your hard effort over four hours. Personally, it seems such a shame to make all that meaningless.


More Reasons

Besides how I feel about it, there are many other reasons to just let the dice roll with ACT scores. Let me take you through a few of them.

First, even if you ‘bombed’ the ACT, you’ll still receive a clear cut set of results that explain your strengths and weaknesses. Even bad results are an invaluable tool. After all, the best generals learn the most from their worst defeats. With a similar mindset, you can plan your strategy for the next time you and the ACT do battle.

Another reason has to do about a fear many students have about ACT results: they don’t want colleges finding out if they bomb. In high school I was one of those students. I had my eyes set on some competitive colleges, and I wanted to make sure that there was never a moment when my application didn’t shine. But here’s the thing: most colleges only care about the highest ACT score you earn, even if you do a little worse on the second try.

Other colleges superscore ACT results, meaning that if your highest sub-scores in English, Math, Reading, and Science were on different test dates, the college will only consider your highest scores. It’s like making a version of standardized test version of Frankenstein, but using only the best parts!

So that’s it, ACT warriors. Don’t listen to that little voice that begs you to cancel your scores. See you on test day, and stay away from your ACT account until the scores come out!


About Thomas Broderick

Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.

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