First the news about changes to the ACT. Starting next year for September 2020's test, the ACT will allow students to retake individual sections of the exam instead of having to retake the entire test for each attempt, which is their current policy
What does this mean for students?
Well, we are not certain about all the consequences of this change, but many students will be very happy! This change means that students can try to raise their weakest section's score without the stress of doing the whole exam again and without any chance of getting a lower score in their strongest sections. This makes it easier to raise one's "superscore" which takes one's best score from each section across all attempts and averages them into a final number.
[For more details, check out this article in US News & World Report.]
A quote from the article on this new policy:
"Students come first at ACT, and these groundbreaking new options will directly benefit them, providing more choices, an improved testing experience, and a better opportunity to showcase their readiness and reach their maximum potential," Suzana Delanghe, ACT chief commercial officer, said in a statement. "With these changes, ACT is evolving to meet students in the digital world in which they live. We want to do a better job of helping them succeed."
Two other changes have been announced as well. Starting next year, students will have the choice of online or traditional paper testing for those who need quicker results. Scores currently take about two weeks to come back; this will shorten the turnaround to two days. Finally, the company will now report a "superscore" to colleges for students who have taken the ACT test multiple times.
The rule change may already be altering the prep plans of students who have the time to wait for the 2020 September test. However, among those students whose college applications can't wait for the new policy, there may be a little dismay--why couldn't they have done this a little sooner?!
In any case, the ACT, as the article linked above explains, seems to be making these changes to remain an integral part of the college application process in the wake of criticism that the exam gives unfair advantage to students from wealthier families who can afford coaching and pay fees for multiple attempts. In response to this same criticism, many colleges have dropped their standardized test requirements for new applicants. The ACT likely hopes these policy moves will increase its ease of use, accessibility and affordability overall.
In the bigger picture this news does suggest a future where tests like the ACT and SAT go extinct. But it's too early to predict this. For now, October's ACT is only two weeks away and it's time to turn to prep!
Look through our past blogs over the past spring and summer for great tips on all the sections!
Contact us at ATT for some final prep sessions!