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ACT to Change - 3 Ways it Affects You!

ACT last week made “scoring reforms” announcements to be effective September 2020. So what does this entail and more importantly, how does this help high school students who are taking the ACT?


The ACT is comprised of 4 sections: the English, reading, math, and science sections, the writing portion is optional and usually dependent on the college the student is applying to. (Please confirm the college requirements by reading IvyBound Consulting’s college blogs at https://ivyboundconsulting.com/blog/, or checking the website of the college itself.) As of September 2020 ACT test, the student may choose to retake a section (upto 3 sections) of the test in which they want to improve their test score(s), rather than having to retake the entire ACT. 

This is HUGE! I have had students who have scored 36’s on the English and reading sections and retook the entire test to raise their math and science scores. Consequently, their scores on the math and science sections did improve; however, the English and reading sections sometimes went down from their original score of 36. Essentially, retaking the test was a wash when the composite score was calculated, especially when applying to colleges who do not superscore ACT exams (that’s many of them).


ACT has recognized that these days most students are studying in a digital manner– homework submissions, textbooks and even studying for the ACT is mostly done online. So, why not offer students the option of an online or paper version and let them choose the method where they feel confident to do the best? As an added bonus, the scores of the multiple choice section of the digital version of the ACT test will be available as soon as two days versus the agony of waiting for two weeks for the paper version of the test. (The essay section will still take its time.) 


Many colleges have been offering their applicants who take the SAT the option of superscoring, in which the best scores of individual sections are taken from multiple exams, enabling them to present higher SAT scores on their applications. This option is not widely available by most colleges for ACT test takers. Hence, the ACT is trying to  appeal to more students by offering this option, and possibly entice them to switch over from the SAT. Let’s see how superscoring of the ACT pans out as it is contingent on the colleges preference of superscoring the ACT. Another caveat is that at this point for ACT superscoring to work, the highest-scored sections of multiple tests along with the original tests will be sent to the colleges that the student applies to. The colleges will essentially see all the scores. Makes you wonder, what good is superscoring the ACT then?  

Regardless, these changes to the ACT may offer positive changes to all high schoolers who are planning to take standardized tests in the years to come. I hope that the ACT has the best interests of students in mind (rather than just their bottom line), giving high schoolers more opportunities to get into their dream college by putting their best scores forward on their college applications.

Seniors, you may have missed the boat. Nevertheless, focus on your academic and personal strengths and showcase them on your college applications and essays. You’re almost there– Can you see the finish line? 🚩

Be Collegebound with IvyBound!

P.S. 🍀Good luck to all the Juniors and Sophomores who are taking the PSAT today. Don’t miss a testing deadline, click the link to subscribe and download your FREE Standardized Testing 2019-2020 Dates and Deadlines IvyBound Sheet. All key test dates and deadlines for ACTs, SATs, SAT Subject tests, and AP exams in one document.

P.P.S. 🎉 To make life easier for high schoolers who are applying to college, I have worked hard to compile college admissions rates data into two easy-to-use spreadsheets that reveal Early vs. Regular Admissions Rates of Top 50 Nationally-Ranked and Top 50 Liberal Arts Colleges. Purchase it for only $27 to understand the acceptance rates of the colleges on your list.

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Hey guys, welcome to the episodes Be Collegebound with IvyBound! I’m your host, Ruchi S. Kothari. I’m super excited that you’ve joined me.

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