Changes To ACT Could Improve Student’s College Opportunities

ACT test

ACT announced plans to introduce three new options to improve students’ test-taking experience and increase their opportunities for college admissions and scholarships.

Beginning with the September 2020 national ACT test date, students who have taken the ACT will have the option to retake individual sections of the ACT test instead of the entire exam.

Students will also have the choice of taking the ACT online, with faster test results, on national test dates, and those who take the test more than once will be provided an ACT “superscore” that calculates their highest possible ACT composite score.

Three New ACT Options

ACT Section Retesting: For the first time in the 60-year history of the ACT test, students who have already taken the test will be allowed to retake individual ACT section tests (English, math, reading, science and/or writing), rather than having to take the entire ACT test again.

Online testing with faster score results: Students will, for the first time, have the option of online or paper testing on national test days at ACT test centers (selected test centers initially, eventually expanding to all). The test is currently administered only on paper on national test dates. Online testing offers faster results compared to traditional paper-based administration—two days compared to around two weeks.

ACT superscoring: ACT will report a superscore for students who have taken the ACT test more than once, giving colleges the option to use the student’s best scores from all test administrations, rather than scores from just one sitting, in their admission and scholarship decisions. New ACT research suggests that superscoring is actually more predictive of how students will perform in their college courses than other scoring methods.

The content and format of the ACT test itself will not change. Only the administration and reporting methods will be different.

ACT stated that the three new options are based on feedback from students, parents, teachers, counselors, administrators and higher education officials.

Free ACT Test Prep

ACT will continue to offer students free learning and test prep resources through its online ACT Academy. Students will be able to take a free practice online test to help them determine if they prefer this format or the traditional paper format. And all materials will be updated to support understanding of the new options available to students.

ACT Fee Waivers

ACT will continue its fee waiver program for students from low-income households, providing free testing for the entire test or for individual section tests as well as continuing to offer free test prep and free score reporting to support their college and scholarship applications.