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What Is ACT Score Choice?


If you just got your ACT scores back, you’re probably wondering about the process of score reporting for college. "Score Choice" is technically more associated with the SAT Score Choice program, but the ACT has a similar policy for its own test score reporting. It will allow you to feel much less stressed about results from individual test dates and instead focus on how to improve in the future.

In this article, I’ll go over what Score Choice is and what it means for your ACT testing strategy.


ACT Score Choice: The Basics

Score Choice for the ACT is relatively simple. It means you have the option to only send scores from certain test dates to colleges rather than sending all of your scores. On the score report request form, you will be asked to list your college of choice and the test date you want to send on each line.

For the ACT, you are charged a $12 fee for each test date you send (even if you’re sending them to the same college), so making smart choices about which ones you want to send is also financially responsible. For example, if you want to send two test dates to 10 schools, that means you'll be sending 20 separate reports - a total fee of $240!

Because of this, Score Choice is an integral part of the ACT score reporting model. You have to go out of your way NOT to use it. 

That being said, you should know that not all schools want you to use Score Choice for the ACT. Some of the most selective schools, such as Yale and Stanford, ask that you send all of your test scores. Check the websites for the colleges where you plan on applying to make sure they allow Score Choice!


What Does ACT Score Choice Mean for You?

Since Score Choice is such a basic part of the ACT testing model, it's a good idea to factor it into your decisions about taking the test. ACT Score Choice means that you should: 


Take the Test More than Once

Unless you get a perfect score on your first test, it’s advantageous for you to take the ACT more than once so you can improve your scores. Even if you don’t do much studying from one test to the next, your scores are likely to improve based on familiarity with the test format and the material. If you DO study a lot between tests, then your results will be even better!

How many times should you take it? That depends. The general rule is no more than three four timestake a look at this article for more details. Don't stress yourself out too much, but keep in mind that if you have the chance to take the ACT three times, you’ll be able to send just your best score out of those three tests (for most schools).

If you take the ACT a few times, you’ll also gain peace of mind in knowing that you didn’t pass up opportunities to maximize your scores. Score Choice means you can take the test more than once, turn a good score into a great score, and then only show colleges your best performance!


Stay Positive

Score Choice also means keeping your sanity when you get your results back from individual tests. No single test is the end of the world! If this is your first time taking the ACT, it’s likely that it won’t be your best score.

You can use your test results to study more (especially if you order Test Information Release) and knock it out of the park next time. Most schools won’t ever see your lowest scores, so you should only concern yourself with them as a means of understanding and correcting your mistakes.

If you can see what you did wrong on one test, you’ll be able to focus your studying on that area and avoid those same mistakes in the future.



This blackboard was set up to encourage wagon trains traveling west in the 1800s. They thought they didn't have anything left to eat, but then they remembered to think positive and resorted to cannibalism.


The Bottom Line

Score Choice means that you can choose to send only your best ACT test scores to colleges. On the ACT, this is the rule rather than the exception because you'll pay per test date for score reports. It’s to your advantage both financially and academically to send only your best scores to colleges.

Because of Score Choice, you should plan to take the ACT more than once and remember that one test score isn’t going to make or break your chances of admission. If you study between tests and learn from your mistakes, you'll improve your scores, and that low score you were so worried about will never see the light of an admissions office!


What's Next?

Some college also Superscore the ACT, meaning they take your best ever score from each subsection of the test and combine them for your best composite score. Here's a full list of schools that use ACT Superscoring. 

Wondering when you should take the ACT? Read this article to figure out the best dates for you.

You should also check out our complete study plan for the ACT so you can keep up with your studying and make the most of every test date!




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Samantha Lindsay
About the Author

Samantha is a blog content writer for PrepScholar. Her goal is to help students adopt a less stressful view of standardized testing and other academic challenges through her articles. Samantha is also passionate about art and graduated with honors from Dartmouth College as a Studio Art major in 2014. In high school, she earned a 2400 on the SAT, 5's on all seven of her AP tests, and was named a National Merit Scholar.

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