Just yesterday, October 8, it was announced that the ACT will be undergoing three new policy changes starting in September of the 2020 school year. The first policy allows students to retake specific parts of the test, such as the science or reading section. It aims to help students to be able to focus on one area of the test and not be worried about worsening their score for the other subjects, and it also decreases the stress on students so that they don’t have to take the four hour test each time.
Students will later also be allowed to send their “superscore”, the combined score of all their best individual sections. Currently, if students want to send different scores from two separate tests, they have to send all of the results from their ACT sessions. Additionally, the ACT will be offered online, and not just as a paper and pencil test. With the exam being online, scores are said to only take two days instead of the prior weeks or months it took for students to receive their results.
These changes will most likely lead to higher ACT scores, though some say this gives unfair advantages to the wealthy, who could then essentially retake the individual sections freely until they got a score that satisfies them. The cost for retaking only parts of the test hasn’t been decided yet, though it will be lower than taking the exam as a whole. Over the past years, there has already been a trend of increasing ACT scores, so some officials worry that high scores will lessen in value and will grow to be just be a standard.
The ACT and the SAT have long been the most popular standardized tests used for college admissions, so they are constantly competing to make beneficial changes to encourage students to take their test over the other. The ACT used to be taken more by students, but over the past years, the SAT has been surpassing their numbers. The ACT’s new revisions might in turn compel the SAT to change their exam.