ACT Makes Drastic Changes for 2020

Photo Credit/Flickr: Alberto G.

Violet Chube, Staff Reporter

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American College Testing, commonly known as the ACT, is a test usually taken by high school juniors and seniors for college admission. The exam is given seven times a year and is scored on a scale from 1 to 36. The test consists of four subjects; English (45 minutes), Math (60 minutes), Reading (35 minutes), and Science (35 minutes). There is also an optional writing section that is scored on a twelve-point scale.

The test is administered on designated Saturday mornings and each of the four subjects follow in a specific order.  In total, the test usually lasts about 180 minutes without writing and with the writing, it is an additional 40 minutes. The test also allows students to take a  brief 15-minute break in between the math and reading sections.

Some colleges and universities allow prospective students to super score their results. Super scoring takes the best score from each subject a student has taken and creates a new, and hopefully, high score.

Recently, the ACT announced that in 2020 students will be allowed to retake specific sections of the exam rather than taking the whole test again. For example, if a student does not do well in the English section and does great on the others, the new policy would allow that student to retake only the English section and not si through and take the other three sections. Also, their new English score would then be combined with the previous test they took.

The ACT collectively decided to make this change because of higher scoring. A quote from CNN explains, “ACT research from 2016 showed that people who retook the test scored an overage of nearly three points higher than those who didn’t.”

This excerpt explains that the reasoning behind this change is due to the fact that students’ scores will go up which will benefit the student in the college admissions process.

When these ACT changes were announced, it received a mix of responses from current students and others.

Riley McInerney, a senior at Regina, said, “I think that, overall, it’s a positive change; yet, my score and those before mine have a great disadvantage. Much of my ACT tutoring was geared toward building stamina to complete the tiring, long test.”

Grace Kelly, another senior at Regina Dominican, said, “I think it will be beneficial for others but not for people who have taken it.”

These changes has certainly raised the question as to whether the ACT is making these drastic changes because many colleges are moving towards abolishing the test as a whole.

Recently, many colleges and universities are going test-optional. According to Inside Higher Education, test-optional is an average of 29 percent at private institutions and 11 percent at public institutions.

Going test-optional means that the ACT or SAT is not required for admissions. However, if students still wish to submit their test scores, they still have the option to do so.

The new change in testing will not help the current seniors or previous students who slogged their way through all four tests of the ACT, but prospective students can hopefully ease their anxiety with this new change.




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