Should I retake my ACT?

I got a 26 (25 STEM and 27 ELA). I’m not really proud of it but I got a 10/12 on my essay. I’m applying to IU Bloomington, Central Michigan University, UMASS Amherst, RPI, Cornell University, and Wellesley college with a pre-med/microbiology and immunology major. So should I retake the test if possible or settle for my 26?

Side note, this was the first time I took the test.


To be more specific, I got:


Reading: 28

Math: 26

Science: 23

Writing: 10 (out of 12)

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    That is a pretty low ACT for some of those schools. If you can afford to take it again I would.

  • 1 month ago

    Did you check statistics on previously accepted students for each of these schools? Since you want to apply as premed, you also need to dig for statistics on premed student acceptances. For highly competitive schools such as Cornell & UMASS, your ACT score is too low, and ridiculously unacceptable for prospective premeds. IF you had straight-A grades in AP biology, AP chemistry, AP physics, & AP math/calculus with top scores on the AP exams, AND had exceptional achievements, your ACT score might still knock you out of the running for premed. You are bouncing your ball on the wrong playing field. Boosting your ACT to 32 or better, even if you take a commercial ACT preparation program, is unlikely.

  • 1 month ago

    It's up to you.  

    1. Use a site like Niche to find the ACT and GPA ranges for admitted students to each of these schools.  Are you in the range? High or low end?

    2. Be realistic about how much you could student and improve your score in the next month.

    3. Look up the ACT test dates and when scores are released for those tests.  You need to have your score in to universities by the application deadline.

    An ACT of 26 is well below the range of  32-34 for Cornell, which only admits 11% of applicants.  Unless you can score at least a 32, your chances aren't going to be improved by retaking the test. For a school like Central Michigan, your ACT is at the top of the 20-27 range, and with a 69% admission rate, you're likely to get in without retaking the test.  

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