Taking The ACT Junior Year

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If you’re ambitious and want to give yourself plenty of time for score improvement, then consider taking the ACT junior year. Just remember that there is a wrong way, as well as, a right way to do it.

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Taking The ACT Junior Year Advantages

Here are a few quick advantages of taking the ACT early in your junior year:

  • You’ve already completed most coursework that shows up on the test
  • You can use test scores to figure out which remaining high school classes to take for improvement
  • Colleges have early access to your scores and send information about admissions, scholarships, and particular programs the summer before senior year begins
  • You have an idea of your chances of getting into particular schools before scheduling campus visits, where you can ask more focused questions
  • You give yourself plenty of time to retest and improve upon your initial scores through targeted studying and additional practice testing

Deciding Whether To Retest Or Not

If you’re not sure whether you want to take the ACT again after a decent score report, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Does your score meet the requirements for schools you’re applying to?
  • Are there particular programs you’re trying to qualify for?
  • Do your scores help secure scholarship money?
  • Do you think that you could honestly score better?

Remember that raising your score even 1-2 points can make a significant difference in both college admissions and scholarship decisions. Taking the ACT junior year is a great first round to achieving the score you want, not the one you’ll settle with.

Remember, taking the test again will be slightly easier for several reasons:

  • You’ll be familiar with the live format
  • You won’t be as nervous answering questions
  • The testing environment itself will be second-nature

Take Advantage of The Spring

Many students will take the ACT first in the spring of the junior year.

There is sound logic for doing so:

  • You can get an early feel for the test format
  • You’ll learn exactly what sections you still need help in
  • You can take the summer to study for a second test date in the fall

Using that spring score report as motivation for improvement in the fall works for many students. More importantly, you give yourself the entire summer to budget time for test prep.

If you still need help, remember that you still have your senior year to retake the test at least once more. Giving yourself your junior year to find your baseline score and start improving upon it is helpful.

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How Many Times Is Too Much?

Is there such a thing as taking the ACT too many times?

The honest answer is…it depends. If you take the ACT multiple times across your junior and senior years with minimal improvement to your scores, colleges will notice.

They will think that you’re likely not working hard to improve your scores through practice and study. You could simply be trying to get lucky. Colleges don’t want luck. They want hard work and focus.

That being said, colleges and universities don’t worry if you take the ACT more than twice. Especially with superscoring, schools want to see your maximum potential in every section beside the composite score.

If you demonstrate marked improvement from one test date to the next, you’re demonstrating your commitment and ability to learn under pressure. Plus, raising your scores as high as possible makes you more attractive to admissions boards looking to boost their overall national rankings.

Use your junior year to determine a solid baseline score. From there, you have the rest of your junior and senior years to improve and impress colleges during the admissions season.

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Taking The ACT Junior Year FAQ

Can you take the ACT too many times?

The honest answer is…it depends. If you take the ACT multiple times across your junior and senior years with minimal improvement to your scores, colleges will notice.

Why should I take the ACT in the Spring of Junior year?

There are a few good reasons to take it early:
You get an early feel for the test format
You’ll learn exactly what sections you still need help in
You can take the summer to study for a second test date in the fall

How do I decide if I should take the ACT again?

Ask yourself a few questions:
Does your score meet the requirements for schools you’re applying to? Are there particular programs you’re trying to qualify for?
Do your scores help secure scholarship money?
Do you think that you could honestly score better?

What do colleges think about multiple ACT scores?

Colleges and universities don’t worry if you take the ACT more than twice. Especially with superscoring, schools want to see your maximum potential in every section beside the composite score.

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