Would it be in my best interest to retake the ACT?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: Would it be in my best interest to retake the ACT?
By Acela (Acela) on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 10:32 pm: Edit

Senior in high school, but taking all courses at a major public university. 3.94 GPA after first semester. 24 credits following this semester.

I'm not getting a rank because of my senior year at college. It wouldn't be "fair" to the rest of the class. But I'm listed as "top 10%" and according to a recent reference made about me in a major newspaper regarding a rank controversy rocking this area, I'm either 1 or 2 out of 300ish students at a public school in the suburbs. In fact, the principal argued my parents agreed to me not being #1 (this was what was published in the paper), but is in fact not true.

Applied to NYU, George Washington, and some others.

Great extracurriculars throughout high school [editor of school newspaper / numerous awards, science team, bands, squash team, honor society]. Interned for US Senator this past summer -- his youngest intern ever. Excellent recommendations [including one from the internship]. Excellent essay.

One problem -- ACT of 26. I've been a rather lousy test taker [terrible anxiety, I don't want to get into the specifics, but it's beyond just "test anxiety"]. Since I'm done with finals in mid-May, would it be in my best interest to retake the ACT in mid June, and then hope to keep this GPA up [maybe even my staying at this large public university -- going into the honors program next year] and then trying an Ivy transfer, say, if I hit an ACT of 29 or 30? I figure I can bulk up on testing prep through late May and early June. There's not a whole lot to lose by retaking.

Some people say I should have applied to ivies this go around, but I figured my test scores were way too low to be considered. Actually, the bulk of my professors are disappointed I didn't apply "higher." Then again, NYU didn't send me a likely, so who knows! Perhaps a transfer could be possible with increased scores and, well, some luck. Or a lot of luck.

What do you think?


By Asdf (Asdf) on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 10:36 pm: Edit


By Dori (Dori) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 08:09 pm: Edit

retake it, or try the SAT

By Nyguy (Nyguy) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 08:27 pm: Edit

retake or try SAT, with a rec from a politican who actually knows your, you are well ahead of other kids

By Drusba (Drusba) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 08:37 pm: Edit

So you are the unnamed Stoughton High School student in the Boston Globe article. The immediate problem is that you can't do anything about your current applications as those will be determined before any more test results could be sent. If rejections happen and the plan becomes stay in a college where you are and try to transfer later, you should consider taking both ACT and SAT after May -- very often students who do bad on one do good on the other and you might be one those students. Also, if plan is to stay in one college for year and then transfer, the schools are going to be putting far more weight on your college grades than the test scores.

By Quarky (Quarky) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 10:04 pm: Edit

If Drusba's comment weren't true, then I would say retake the ACT and try the SAT. I know from personal experience that improvement is more than possible. My ACT's went 26 - 30 - 32 - 32 - 34 to give me a net improvement of 8 points. Anyway, Drusba is right that it's not going to matter for college apps now; HOWEVER, test scores may still be good for scholarships. That's the only reason I took the ACT in Feb -- to improve my previous score of 32 and help myself with scholarships. So I say, go ahead and retake it. With other academic stuff you've got, you have a good chance at outside scholarships you apply for. Just get the test score taken care of. Good luck!

By Topcat (Topcat) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:00 pm: Edit

You took the ACT 5 times?

By Quarky (Quarky) on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 08:17 am: Edit


By Quarky (Quarky) on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 08:17 am: Edit

the colleges don't care. they just take my highest ones.

By Acela (Acela) on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 03:14 pm: Edit

I guess this is one small world.

Yes, Drubsa. The reference in the Boston Globe regarding a student at Stoughton High School was, in fact, me. My heart jumped when I saw your posting. I can't believe anyone would pick up on that. Did that story generate any discussion?

I guess since the cat's out of the bag, I can identify the school I'm currently enrolled in -- UMass-Boston. It's called the "dual enrollment" program (completely different from the girl at Wesleyan -- I was considering getting in touch with her, but, eh, probably not worth it), which means I'm actually enrolled at both the high school AND the college. However, I take all of my courses at UMass-Boston, and have absolutely nothing to do with the high school. Why I wasn't awarded with a class rank is apparently beyond me at this point.

I've taken the SAT a few times, but can't seem to get over the 1200 level. I can hit 1300s in practice exams (out of "10 Real..."), but no luck on the real thing. Anxiety kicks in and I freeze. I'm hoping the scores can be overlooked for my strong college GPA thus far, but who really knows -- every day will be one long stomach ache until early April.

I feel more comfortable with the ACT and believe I can improve my score by at least a few points by the June exam.

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