Tennessee Offering Senior Retake this Fall to Help Students Achieve  

 Nashville, TN—Today, the Tennessee Department of Education highlighted an opportunity this fall for all high school seniors to boost their scores on the ACT college entrance exam after taking the test the first time as a junior during the COVID-19 pandemic. While a recent ACT, Inc. study found that the 2020-21 ACT results indicated an anticipated decline in ACT scores nationwide, Tennessee is the first and only state to offer this free retake opportunity to every Tennessee high school senior this fall.  

The ACT is a comprehensive college entrance exam covering a wide range of subjects that assess students' mathematical skills, grammar usage, science interpretation, and reading comprehension. Because results from college readiness tests are often used to determine eligibility for scholarships, including the Tennessee HOPE scholarship, ACT re-take opportunities empower students to fulfill requirements for college admission and demonstrate readiness.  

This year, the department is urging all Tennessee high school seniors to take advantage of the fall ACT retake opportunity and has expanded the state testing windows to provide additional options. ACT Inc.’s research shows that students who take the ACT more than once increase their score by an average of 1 point. Students who improve their scores in one or more subject areas tested will have their super-score composite available to send to postsecondary institutions and scholarship programs. 

Districts across the state will be able to offer the free fall ACT retake opportunities during one of the following three-day windows: 

•         October 5-7, 2021 

•         October 19-21, 2021 

•         November 2-4, 2021 

“ACT is proud to partner with Tennessee as we encourage all student to take advantage of Tennessee’s ACT Senior Retake to improve students’ composite scores. Last year, over 89% of Tennessee seniors participated in the ACT Senior Retake.  ACT data shows that when a student tests more than once, their ACT composite score increases by about 1 point,” said Catherine Hoffman, ACT’s Vice President of State and Federal Programs. “In many cases, this score increase provided scholarship funds and many students were not required to take remedial classes.  This resulted in dollars back into Tennessee families’ pockets and impacts that will last for generations.  Tennessee continues to put students first and make lasting change for students.” 

Aligned with the department’s Best for All strategic plan, the ACT provides essential data and context for state and district leaders on student readiness for postsecondary opportunities. Students who score a 21 or higher on the ACT also meet criteria for Ready Graduate, the state’s indicator to reward schools and districts whose high school graduates demonstrate postsecondary readiness.  

To learn more about the state’s college readiness testing program, including the ACT and SAT, visit the College Readiness Testing webpage.