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With the October 2019 announcement from ACT about changes in scoring options for the test starting next school year, our parents have been asking if their students should delay taking the ACT until the fall.
Our answer is no. Right now, we have no indication that colleges, especially top-tier schools, will change their current score reporting and consolidation practices (such as super scoring), and the ACT has not given guidance on how it will implement the new scoring and retesting options.
We feel confident that you can take spring ACTs to get your first test in, and if the potential benefits of the new ACT practices are adopted by most schools next year, then you will be able to utilize them by taking an additional test in the fall to potentially improve your scores.
Here are the main changes ACT announced last month:
1) ACT Section Retesting – allows students who have already taken one ACT to retake one section in the test on a future date.
If this is accepted widely by colleges, it will help most students achieve a final composite score more reflective of their abilities since we find it rare for a student to do their absolute best on every section of a test in one sitting. We hope that it will not lead to students re-testing repeatedly on one or more sections just to achieve minimal gains.
2) Superscoring – If you take the test more than once, ACT will report a superscore combining your best section scores from all your tests.
When combined with individual section re-testing, this new option could certainly have benefits for every student, with the caveats discussed above. In truth, many schools already superscore if you send them all your test scores.
3) Online Testing – Promising faster results (two days vs. two weeks) and easier administration, the test will be available to take on computers at limited testing centers starting next year and then rolled out to all national test day centers in future years. The paper test will continue to be available at all centers.
The initial advantage we see here will be for Seniors who want to increase their score during fall or early winter test dates ahead of filing their applications.
We will provide future updates as these changes are implemented and the schools react.
Learn more about the changes ACT announced.
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