ACT issue

<p>I applied early decision to Duke. I recently took the ACT, and when I did my proctor messed up during the science section, putting the wrong time on the board by 14 minutes during the section. I was unaware of the starting time, so I was calibrated to that extra 14 minutes that we had, and then during the section, he went up and fixed it to the correct ending time, which really screwed me up as he only fixed it with a few minutes to spare, so I basically had to guess on a third of the science section. My scores were a 34, 32, 35, and 23. The 23 is obviously the science section. </p>

<p>Should I write a letter to Duke explaining why my science section score is what it is? Or would that not do anything?</p>

<p>The letter would carry more weight if it came from an official organization (the one that conducts the ACT for instance). The problem is that you have to get them to acknowledge the error. If it were me (and I wasn’t so pressed for time) I’d file a report with the testing organization, or talk with the people at the test (after the test is offer) and perhaps write a letter together. This sort of thing is both hard to prove and hard to argue for because the organization itself might have a policy that those written time reminders are strictly unofficial and at the discretion of the proctor and should not be relied upon to be accurate, I don’t know if this is the case.</p>

<p>But if all else fails, then certainly, write a letter for extra information. Just be cordial, give only the facts, and don’t dwell too much on it or go into it ad nauseam (and don’t whine about it or overtly place any blame on anyone, the proctor included).</p>

<p>This is an odd case. You might want to consider writing Duke briefly and clearly explaining the situation (as you did here), offering to retake the ACT December 11th (still possible with a late fee), and asking that they consider holding off on your ED decision until they’ve had an opportunity to see your new score.</p>

<p>The people at Duke are very reasonable and fair from what I’ve seen. It might be worth a shot.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>I don’t think they’ll hold off on making a decision especially since the ED decisions are usually released around Dec 15. What they’ll do is probably consider the mitigating circumstance and deal with it that way.</p>

<p>^If the OP follows that route the easist thing for the adcoms to do would be to ask the OP to retake the ACT and defer him/her into the regular round. My suggestion would provide a possibility of maintaining the ED benefit. I have no idea if Duke would go along, but it might be worth a try.</p>

<p>I don’t think it maintains the ED benefit at all because Duke probably won’t be that accommodating. In all likelihood, even if the OP took the dec ACT, he would not get a score back before ED decisions are released. In that case, he’d basically have to declare his application incomplete and defer himself to the RD round anyway. </p>

<p>If, however, the adcoms consider this a mitigating circumstance, then they might be less likely to ask for a retest. In fact, I doubt that people who are deferred are asked to do anything specific by the committee. Also, the test scores are just a part of the overall application and if the application itself is compelling, then the adcoms will be less inclined to withhold a decision just because of a scores. If, on the other hand, the application is incomplete, then it would absolutely be a compelling reason to defer an applicant.</p>

<p>Thanks for the info everyone. Thankfully, my application is not riding on this ACT score. I took the SAT too and I’m somewhat comfortable relying on that. The app is basically complete.</p>

<p>I understand your perspective, SBR, and you may very well be right. I just threw out another idea and I think the OP would be wise to consider both alternatives.

Excellent point. Duke emphasizes (and I believe them) that admissions is not based on just one or two parts of the application, so an overall strong app together with a plausible mitigating explanation (hopefully confirmed by a statement from the proctor) for the ACT Science score might be the best way to go.</p>

<p>Good luck, shockazulu.</p>

<p>^crossposted with shockazulu</p>

<p>With the added info of your SAT scores, I retract my earlier suggestion. I hope you’re fine.</p>