New Changes expected in the ACT in the year 2020

There are three major changes we expect to see in ACT in the year 2020:

  • Students will be allowed to retake certain sections of the test, rather than having to retake the entire test. The price is undetermined yet, but it’s said to be cheaper to retake a section of the test, than retaking the whole test. Currently, it’s $68 to retake the ACT with the writing test, $52 to retake the ACT without the writing test.
  • Students will be given an ACT “superscore” which will be a combination of their highest scores from each subsection of each time they take the ACT.
  • Students will be given an option to take the old school, paper and pencil test, but students will also be given the option to take the ACT online at a test center on national test days. Students will then receive their scores in just two business days.

The five sections of the ACT — reading, math, science, English and writing (which is optional) are graded on a scale from one to 36. As of right now, the scores on the four required sections are averaged into a composite score. With the 2020 changes, students’ highest composite scores may not necessarily reflect their highest subscores because they may have done worse on one certain section.

What could be the effects of a superscore on the admission process?

When it comes to the ACT “superscore” colleges will have the option to opt out of using the superscore for students’ admissions. Many colleges, however, already use a students highest score from all of the test taken. Students must keep this in mind when applying to colleges — How will they assess the ACT score? Will they use the superscore?

What could be the effects of single-section retakes on the ACT in the year 2020?

What concerns do we see with single-section retakes? Some professionals think students may become more obsessive about trying to get the perfect individual score. Some students may think they are pressured to keep trying until they get the perfect or highest score, which will just mentally exhaust a student.

Another concern is that colleges may dislike the change and question the validity of scores achieved under the new testing guidelines. Will admissions offices notice how many times a student has retaken a section? Will this affect their decision to admit the student into that college? As many colleges will probably accept the superscores, there may be plenty of colleges who don’t. They may take different data from your ACT scores to determine the validity of your scores and knowledge, to see if you will be a good fit in their university.

ACT officials believe that these changes will help students save both time and money while taking the ACT, as well as give students the option to receive their test scores faster.Suzanne Delanghe, ACT’s chief commercial officer, said “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,” per in October 2019.

Professionals in leadership positions believe these changes are beneficial for students. Naviance by Hobsons’ Director of Thought Leadership, Dr. Kim Oppelt said, “ACT section retesting will be an asset to those with learning differentiations. It will benefit students from low-income backgrounds,” in reference to the affordability of paying to retake one section, rather than the whole test.

Other professionals are worried that the changes may put another level of stress onto graduating high school students. President of National Association for College Admission Counseling, Jayne Cafliin Fonash, believes the changes may cause more stress. “For a student who did poorly in just one section but overall did well, retaking one section may be helpful. But it’s sometimes a better use of a student’s time to develop other parts of their life, rather than trying to improve already good test scores.”

With the ACT creating more ways for students to succeed in their future endeavours, we should see the ACT creating more revenue for themselves over the next few years.

Will these changes help your students succeed to greater levels? Or do you think these changes in the ACT could potentially harm students?

ACT officials indicated in it’s big announcement, that the content of the ACT exam would not be changing, but only the way it is administered and how students get their results back would be changing.

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