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Will my ACT scores count after I apply to colleges?

QUESTION: I've taken the ACT twice and my highest score so far is a 22. If I apply to colleges but later receive a higher score can it be changed? Is it okay to take the ACT again? Signed, Most Improved

Dear Most Improved: While it's not pleasant to take a three-hour test, there is one good thing about standardized tests like the ACT. Colleges accept your highest score regardless of how many times you take it. In most cases, students take the exam between two to four times. When you apply to colleges, report your scores and have ACT send them an official score report.

If you are planning to take the ACT again after you submit your applications, note the dates that you plan to take it on the application forms. The colleges have deadlines for the last time you can take the exam, and as long as you follow them, your new score will be counted.

Before you take the test again, take time to prepare by taking old exams for practice. You can get sample tests from ACT by visiting its Web site at

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.