ACT to Allow Students to Retake Individual Sections

October 14, 2019

Starting next September, the ACT will allow students to retake individual sections instead of having to retake the entire test. This is an exciting change that could transform the way students prep for the test and the way colleges review ACT scores.

Prior to this change, students would have had to retake the entire test even if they were happy with their scores on three of the four sections.  These students then had to risk scoring lower on those sections during a retake in an effort to boost a single section score. In the end, many students wound up with composite scores that were considerably lower than their “superscore.”  While some colleges would calculate and evaluate a student based on their superscore, others would not.

The impetus for this change is unclear. However, some have predicted that it is a move to make the ACT more appealing than the SAT. Currently the ACT has 1.9 million test takers a year, whereas the SAT has 2.1 million.  A big point of appeal for many students is that all colleges allow the SAT to be superscored. Only about 60% currently allow for ACT superscoring. 

What does this change mean for you?
  1. Tutors can hone in on a particular section without having to worry that the other sections will suffer. Note that this change will go into effect next September.
  2. It will make ACT superscoring an inevitability, as some students might not even have a “composite” score if they choose to take each section separately.
  3. Students who are worried about having the stamina to complete a multi hour test will no longer have to worry.  This could be a big help to students with time and a half or double time accommodations. 
  4. Save time and money! Though an official price has not been decided on, surely the cost of taking an individual section will be cheaper than the $58 it costs to register for the whole test.

As part of this overhaul, the ACT also announced plans to allow the opportunity to take the test online.  This would allow scores to be released two days after the administration, instead of the two to eight weeks it takes at present.

These exciting changes will have widespread implications for test prep, retake strategies, and ultimately, the way that college admissions offices evaluate standardized test scores. Be sure to stay updated as we learn more about this new development!

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