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?
1 • RETAKE PART OF THE EXAM:
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).
2 • OPTION TO TAKE THE TEST ONLINE OR ON PAPER:
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.)
3 • ACT TO USE SUPERSCORING
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? 🚩
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