ACT undergoes changes to increase opportunity for students


Julia Conn and Kensley Hamm

Starting Sept. 20 of 2020, the ACT test will undergo changes that will implement more opportunities for students to increase their scores. A few of these options include specific section retesting, superscoring and faster results with online testing.

Specific section retesting is just one of the several new features being incorporated in 2020. In this version of retesting, students are allowed to choose which subject on the ACT they wish to retake, rather than having to take the entire test to get their new score.

This implementation is meant to help create a more beneficial and specialized way to take the ACT for students.

“ACT Section Retesting…helps students focus their study efforts solely on the areas in which they want to improve their scores,” said the official ACT website.

The site explains that the individual sections of the ACT are the same in regards to the content, time given and amount of questions. Students can take up to three sections per retest, and the retest is offered seven times a year.

Another change that is being added relates to the method in which the test is taken — students will have the option to take the test online. Students will be able to receive their scores as soon as a couple of business days after test completion.

A new concept called “The Superscore” is also becoming part of ACT testing as of next year. The “superscore” is the average of the four best subject scores from all of the attempts, and it gives students their highest possible score.

While the ACT Organization initially had doubts about using the superscore, their research diminished any uncertainty they had.

“Our findings surprised us: they revealed that superscores were more predictive of how students would perform in their college courses than other scoring methods,” The ACT website stated. “Our concern that superscore would overestimate students’ academic preparation levels were unfounded based on the data from extensive research.”

However, not all colleges agree with the ACT Organization, and many have their own specific policies regarding the superscoring.

According to the ACT website, those who do integrate these adjustments for testing are assured of “more choices, a better experience, and greater confidence that their ACT test scores best reflect their hard work, overall academic achievement, and potential for success throughout their lives.”