Tennessee Department of Education offering three ACT retake opportunities this fall

Staff photo / ACT and SAT prep books are sold at the Chattanooga Homeschool Expo hosted by the Chattanooga Homeschool Association at Camp Jordan Arena on July 20, 2019, in Chattanooga.

The Tennessee Department of Education has announced free retakes of the ACT for high school seniors this fall.

The retakes will operate in three Tuesday-Thursday windows this fall: Oct. 5-7, Oct. 19-21 and Nov. 2-4.

"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 a news release last week.

In June, the department partnered with the University of Tennessee at Martin to offer free ACT workshops and resources to students, funded by federal coronavirus relief money.

Student classes include the ACT Success Tactics workshop and ACT Mastery classes, while teachers have access to a workshop that focuses on including test-taking strategies into curriculum. The program ran over the summer and will continue into fall with classes for students and teachers via Zoom.

"While the fall ACT retake has always been available to our seniors, this year's retake opportunities offer our seniors one more chance to potentially boost their scores and demonstrate readiness for college and career," said Commissioner Penny Schwinn in the news release. "ACT Inc.'s research shows that by participating in these opportunities, students are more likely to increase their ACT scores, and we want all our students to achieve their highest potential. I encourage our districts, schools and families to help us ensure all Tennessee high school seniors can take advantage of this opportunity."

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities have waived standardized test scores, such as the ACT and SAT, as admissions requirements. Officials from Chattanooga-area colleges told the Times Free Press in May that other placement tests or information like grade-point averages can be used for admissions, particularly for adult students.

- Compiled by Anika Chaturvedi