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Tennessee Department of Education announces ACT Senior Retake Opportunity

Tennessee Department of EducationNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Education announced today the launch of the statewide ACT Senior Retake Opportunity that provides every eligible high school senior, meaning any public school student who took the ACT as a junior, the ability to retake the ACT free of charge on Saturday, October 22nd, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Tennessee’s historical ACT data indicate that students who retake the ACT typically increase their composite score by one to three points.

Eligible high school seniors have the opportunity to retake ACT.
Eligible high school seniors have the opportunity to retake ACT.

This increase in ACT scores could translate into thousands more students meeting the composite score requirement of a 21 for the HOPE scholarship and avoiding remediation courses once they enter a postsecondary institution.

Increasing the percentage of students who graduate high school with improved ACT composite and benchmark scores will allow for more students to start their next phase in life on the pathways necessary for success.

“Allowing students an additional opportunity to show what they know by retaking the ACT can expand the possibilities for our students’ futures,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “Our strategic plan, Tennessee Succeeds, lays out a firm goal­­­­—that the average ACT score in Tennessee will be a 21 by 2020, indicating that our students are graduating high school ready for college and career.”

All eligible students will have the option of retaking the ACT on the national test date of Saturday, October 22nd. The registration deadline for this national test date is Friday, September 16th. If a student registers after Sept. 16, the student will be responsible for paying any late registration fees.

The retake voucher, given to students at their high school, will expire on September 30th, which is the late registration deadline for the test, and cannot be used for any other national test date.

The recommendation to allow for a retake of the ACT or SAT for all students came as a result of the first convening of the Assessment Task Force in 2015. The task force developed a set of principles and recommendations, housed in a task force report, to guide the work of the state, districts, and schools.

This then led to the Tennessee Student Assessment Transparency Act of 2016, sponsored by Senator Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, and Representative Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, in which the Tennessee General Assembly approved for each student who took a postsecondary readiness assessment—like the ACT—as a high school junior the opportunity to retake it as a senior free of cost.

To get more information about the ACT Senior Retake Opportunity, including a school implementation guide and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the ACT/SAT testing page on the department of education’s website.

For more information, contact Sara Gast at 615.532.6260 or .


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