right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
College Confidential stands united with African American students and their families against racial injustice and in pursuit of higher education and equality in America.
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: Zai Dawodu overcame a low GPA to get into top schools like Northwestern or NYU. She'll be attending Northwestern to study Computer Science. ASK HER ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our June Checklists for HS Juniors and HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

ACT score on transcript

1Lotus1Lotus 250 replies15 threads Junior Member
D21 has a decent/expected ACT score and would like to test again for a chance to improve. I noticed today that her only ACT test from 2020 was on her unofficial HS transcript, which is fine since it is a good score. If she takes it again and gets a lower score and it is put on the transcript, could that reflect badly on her or would colleges just look at the highest score? Would any colleges accept the ACT as recorded on the official transcript instead of having to pay to have it sent? Thank you for any opinions.😁
12 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: ACT score on transcript

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4974 replies86 threads Senior Member
    Many schools allow applicants to self-report their test scores so they don't have to pay to send in official scores. Some colleges will accept the pdf score report from the student's GC. Not sure if any will accept it from the transcript, but you can ask.


    I expect if your D had a much lower score than her first test, it could matter. But not sure how many schools would look at the scores on the transcript rather than from the common app (student inputs highest test scores) and/or the official score report you send in (you would only send the highest, as long as the school does not require all tests be sent in).

    You can also ask your HS to remove the test scores from the unofficial transcript. Some will, some won't.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1Lotus1Lotus 250 replies15 threads Junior Member
    I think I will ask the GC what the policy is about ACT on transcript. Thank you. Does anyone think it would look bad to score a couple points lower on a later test?
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9861 replies110 threads Senior Member
    My D's second test was a couple of points lower but raised her super score. All we could do was take it on face value that the schools considered the higher score.
    Her HS put all test scores on her transcript.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1Lotus1Lotus 250 replies15 threads Junior Member
    Thank you @Mwfan1921 and @momofsenior1.

    Do you think it is worth taking again to do better even if the score could go down and end up on transcript? We are searching for merit and another point or two higher could make a big difference.
    · Reply · Share
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4974 replies86 threads Senior Member
    edited April 12
    1Lotus wrote: »
    Thank you @Mwfan1921 and @momofsenior1.

    Do you think it is worth taking again to do better even if the score could go down and end up on transcript? We are searching for merit and another point or two higher could make a big difference.

    If she has been studying for the ACT, or will study as we get closer to the test date, I would take it again if she is on the cusp of larger merit awards. She could also consider doing the individual section tests starting in September, if the schools on her list superscore.
    edited April 12
    · Reply · Share
  • 1Lotus1Lotus 250 replies15 threads Junior Member
    Thank you @Mwfan1921- She does seem to be on the cusp of larger merit awards if she could gain a point or two on the ACT. She has taken the PSAT a couple times and seems to do better on ACT, but we are also thinking about trying the SAT once if testing happens this summer. I think there is a chance she could gain a point (but also a chance that she could lose a point)...so that was the main question-whether having a lower score on the transcript after a solid score could look worse than just sticking with the solid (but room for improvement) score. I have an email out to her hs counselor whether she can choose which ACT scores appear on the transcript. She is not planning to apply to any colleges that would want to see all test scores. Her school also includes the standardized reading state test scores on the transcript (but not the standardized math state test scores for some reason) and a standardized science test score from last year. She received an "E" in all of those scores which I think mean "exceeds" standards...anyway what is listed looks good, but I'm wondering why the math scores weren't on the transcript and also asked the counselor about that. Her lowest section on the ACT was reading, so the "E" in the reading scores is a plus, I think.
    · Reply · Share
  • drusbadrusba 9678 replies21 threads Senior Member
    edited May 4
    Vast numbers of high schools put all test scores on the official high school transcript sent to colleges. There are many colleges that accept the scores on the official high school transcript as the official scores and do not require test scores sent by the testing agencies.

    As to how multiple test are used to determine admission, colleges come in three versions: (a) they use that test with the highest composite; (b) they superscore the tests and thus use the highest section scores from the multiple tests; (c) they use that test with the highest composite but all or a portion of the college may also consider a higher section score in another test (e.g., UIUC engineering uses the test with highest composite but will also consider a higher math score from another test).

    Thus, taking another test and getting a somewhat lower score should not be considered a problem. Taking another test and scoring much lower than the first test could be a problem but not because of the colleges. In that situation, the ACT may investigate and invalidate the first test under a suspicion that something improper happen. ACT does not have to prove actual cheating, It can invalidate a test based merely on suspicion.
    edited May 4
    · Reply · Share
  • fencingmomfencingmom 210 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Testing is between you and either ACT or College Board (SAT). Your daughter’s high school should have the score only if you want them to. Colleges should receive the score you send to them. Unless of course colleges require full testing history (some do).

    When you’re filing out the ACT form online, just select “high school not listed” from the drop down menu. ACT wants as much info from you as they can get, why give it to them? You’re paying for a test, that’s it. Protect your privacy at every turn.

    I would ask for the current score on your daughter’s transcript to be removed, and then decide when and what you send to prospective colleges based on their test reporting policies.

    · Reply · Share
  • 1Lotus1Lotus 250 replies15 threads Junior Member
    @drusba @fencingmom Thank you for your comments! I have since learned that the official college transcript is sent via a company that we have to pay to order/send to colleges and we are able to choose a version with or without the ACT. D has tested pre-act, 2 practice acts, and one official ACT-all within a point of her actual score...she is pretty consistent, but that is kind of scary that if she has a bad day and score goes significantly down her current score could be invalidated-eek! I'm not super worried about that but I am a worrier.

    This morning I saw an ad to register for the June ACT-so it looks like there are no plans to cancel in our area so far.
    · Reply · Share
  • fencingmomfencingmom 210 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @1Lotus Glad you got some clarity on the transcript. Please know if she took another ACT and scored lower, her other higher score from earlier would not be "invalidated" -- you could very well ignore the lower score and just send the highest one to colleges.

    The exception being if a prospective college wants ALL scores. There are some colleges who want to know every standardized test your daughter took. Do some research and find out if these schools are ones your daughter might be interested in -- if not, it's a moot point. If so, you might want to be strategic about the test prep and timing on when she'll take another ACT.

    Keep in mind also, that even if you do end up sending multiple test dates, many colleges will superscore the results.

    You're in good worrier company on CC :)

    · Reply · Share
  • 1Lotus1Lotus 250 replies15 threads Junior Member
    @fencingmom Thank you :smile: I'm pretty sure all the schools targeted do not require all scores--no elites.
    · Reply · Share
  • drusbadrusba 9678 replies21 threads Senior Member
    edited May 6
    There are only four colleges left that have an all scores requirement: Georgetown (requires all SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests); Yale (requires all SATs or all ACTs, and all of both if you choose to submit both tests, but score choice accepted for subject tests); Carnegie Mellon (same as Yale); and Cornell (requires all ACTs if you submit any ACTs but accepts score choice on SAT and subject tests). And Cornell is waiving the submission of any test scores for applicants who will be applying in fall 2020 for entry into fall 2021 freshman class, a temporary move due to coronavirus issues.
    edited May 6
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity