Major Delay Reported by the ACT: What To Do?

Many Early Action (and some Early Decision) candidates for college admissions, are finding out about a new stress point this week.

The ACT is reporting a major delay in grading the Writing Section of the most recent test administration.

The SAT (CollegeBoard) is not faring much better, with issues of their own.

Here’s an example of a proactive statement from Loyola Marymount University, on what to do. Other colleges are starting to post helpful updates to their admissions pages, too.

Another example comes from the University of Chicago.

ACT Test Scores

If your scores from the September ACT have been delayed, don’t panic! We will accept self-reported scores from Early Action applicants who have been notified that their September ACT score report is delayed.

To send self-reported scores, please forward the e-mail you received from ACT notifying you that your scores were delayed, along with a screenshot of your multiple choice scores, to Please note that we will compare self-reported to official scores once received, and will re-review your file if there is a discrepancy.

So, what should you do?

Self report your scores on the Common App (or whatever individual college application form you may be using).

Then, call, email, Tweet, etc. the admissions office of the schools you are planning on sending applications to. Ask them about their advice on submitting scores to them. They may suggest self reporting with the Writing section left blank. You can do this by contacting the Admissions Officer who might be reading your application (you can typically find their email on their respective admissions web page), just to let them know your score may not have the writing component sent to them until next month.

The good thing for students is: The colleges are aware of the issue. You will not be penalized for issues at the ACT or SAT.

Since the colleges are aware of the problems, they will know to keep an eye out for the updates.

For high school Juniors, take this as a warning to get your standardized testing done EARLY! Plan to finish taking your standardized tests in the Spring of Junior year, if at all possible. If that’s not going to fit your schedule, be aware of potential glitches that may arise when you take the SAT and/or ACT in the Fall of Senior year.

Learn more about which test is right for you, by clicking here. Take a look at the free video on our membership site, in Chapter 3.2: Standardized Testing Insights.

Should you look at “test optional” schools? Watch the video!

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