Another College Testing Battle Begins

The ACT college admissions test is the same as it always was unless you decide to take it a second time. On the second go round you can decide only to take one or two sections of the exam instead of sweating through the entire three-hour test.

There have not been major changes in the ACT exam or how it is given since it was developed 60 years ago. Starting in September of 2020, any student believing they need a higher score in a particular section of the exam can sign up to retake only that section at a prorated fee.

In addition to the section choice change, some testing centers will allow the students to take a digital version of the test. The digital version will produce test results in two days. That will put a lot of procrastinators at ease who couldn’t meet an application deadline if the paper version was their only option. The paper and pencil version will still be available with the time from testing to results remaining between two and eight weeks.

The ACT organization did not stop with only two major changes. They will now superscore all the testing scores for the student before sending the results to the colleges. Many colleges already select the highest scores from all the exams taken by the student to compile the highest possible total but now. ACT will combine all the results prior to delivering them to the college.

Whether these changes will benefit the student in the college admissions process has yet to be seen. What also remains to be seen is the reaction this will generate from CollegeBoard. What I can foresee is the exam being taken four times by students with the enough disposable income to concentrate on individual sections of the exam after taking the entire exam for the first time. A tutor can be secured for each individual section so that the performance on the section in question is excellent before moving on to the next. Of course, everyone will have that option but not everyone will have the means to exploit it. In the end, I expect these changes will become just another part of the confusing system that is college admissions

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