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Score FAQs

  1. How are the ACT and the SAT scored?
    1. The ACT is comprised of four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each of these sections is scored individually on a scale of 1-36. The composite score is the average of the four scores. The optional essay is scored separately and does not get included in the composite.  
    2. The SAT is comprised of three sections: Math, Writing and Language, and Reading. The Reading and Writing sections are grouped together into Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, which is scored on a scale of 200-800, and Math is also scored on a scale of 200-800. These two scores are added together to make the composite score, which ranges from 400-1600. As with the ACT, the optional essay is scored separately and does not get included in the composite.  
  2. How long does it take to get scores back?
    1. ACT scores are typically available online 2 weeks after the test date (the exception is the October test, which takes at least 3 weeks). Sometimes it will take longer for scores to be released, but the latest they are released is 8 weeks after the test date. Essay scores are available two weeks after the composite score.
    2. SAT scores usually come out as early as 10 days after the test date, with the exception of the June test, which takes about 5 weeks. Essay scores are available 15 days after the test date. 
    3. Students who use extended time or other accommodations may have to wait a little longer to get their test scores back if they take the test through their school rather than at a national testing site. Wait times for those scores will be closer to 6-8 weeks. 
  3. What are Test Information Releases (TIRs), Question-and-Answer Services (QASs), and Student Answer Services (SASs)?
    1. Test Information Releases are available for students who have taken the ACT and include a copy of the multiple-choice test questions, a list of the student’s answers, and an answer key. 
    2. Question-and-Answer Services are available to students who have taken the SAT. They include a copy of the test questions, the student’s answers, and the answer key. They also include a report that lists the type and difficulty level of each question. 
    3. Student Answer Services are available to students who have taken the SAT and are slightly less detailed versions of QASs. They do not include copies of test questions, student answers, or answer keys, but they do provide a breakdown of questions types, difficulty levels, and which answers were correct, incorrect, or omitted.   
  4. Should I pay for them?
    1. That depends! Does your student plan to take the test again? If so, having a more detailed score report can be very helpful. They provide a more detailed breakdown of strengths and weaknesses, which can be very handy for determining what areas to focus on as your student prepares for the next test. The TIR and QAS can be particularly great because students will often remember the questions they struggled to answer.  Having the opportunity to look back on their own or with a tutor will allow them to figure out how to tackle a similar question or concept the next time they test.  
    2. If you would like to order them, you can follow these links for information on how to purchase a Test Information Release, Question-and-Answer Service, or Student Answer Service
  5. Are TIRs, QASs, and SASs available for every test date?
    1. No. Testing companies sometimes reuse tests, so TIRs and QASs are only available for certain test dates: 
      1. TIRs are only available for the December, April, and June ACT tests. Students who used Special Testing on the ACT (testing with accommodations over multiple days) can only receive TIRs for exams taken during the Special Testing window in April.
      2. QASs are available for students who test during October, March, and May. Students who use accommodations that require school-based testing can receive QASs for May test dates. 
      3. SASs are available for all test dates. 
      4. Students who use accommodations occasionally have to arrange to receive TIRs, QASs, or SASs before even taking the test. 
  6. How does the essay affect overall score?
    1. The essay score does not affect the composite score of either the ACT or the SAT. However, we recommend taking the essay anyway because it is not possible to take the essay separately if a student decides to apply somewhere that requires it.   
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