What if my child has a low ACT, but high GPA and honors courses?


Depending on what year your child is in high school, I strongly suggest he/she re-take the ACT. I know standardized testing is probably not your child’s favorite pastime and he/she was hoping to never have to take it again. But because of your child’s academic circumstances, I really believe he/she could benefit from re-taking the ACT.

What’s going to be different this time around?

Your child will know what to expect on test day, which eliminates the fear of the unknown. He/she have sat through an official test, know what to expect in terms of worry, needing a snack, and how much sleep he/she really needs to get the night before.

Your child will also have the advantage of having his/her official ACT score report. The ACT recently redid their report sheets so your child can see what sub-sections he/she performed well on and what sections need improvement to boost his/her score. This will help your child know what to study harder for and what areas he/she can casually review. He/she will also have the benefit of knowing what sections he/she actually felt prepared for and what sections left him/her drawing mental blanks.

This information is all beneficial to studying for his/her ACT re-take. It is very common for students to re-take their standardized test multiple times until they get the score they want. There is nothing wrong with re-taking it. Even if he/she applies to college with that low ACT score, he/she can make a notation that he/she is scheduled to re-take it.

Because your child has a high GPA and is taking advanced courses, most admissions committees will give them the benefit of the doubt. But if your child is applying to those very selective colleges and universities, I cannot stress enough how important having a high ACT score is to he/she being accepted. However, with most other schools, your child’s high GPA and advanced classes will be enough to off-set a low ACT score.


To learn more about the ACT’s new score report, check out this infographic and then take a look at the sample report so you can see specifically where your child needs to improve if he/she is looking to take the ACT again.

Our ACT prep program is available for your child to participate in to help improve his/her score! All of our tutors earned top scores in the standardized test they tutor in, meaning your child will be learning from the very best.

I also suggest reading some advice for re-taking the ACT in case your child hasn’t decided whether or not they want to do it again. Because I’m a strong advocate for re-taking, here are some benefits for re-taking and additional tips for raising his/her score.