Changing Your Future: The New Changes Coming to the ACT


Collin Minear, Staff Writer

Starting in the 2020-21 school year, some new changes will be coming to the American College Test (ACT). There are three new changes: students will now be able to take the test online, they will be able to retake individual sections instead of the entire test, and a Superscore will be determined from a student’s best scores every time they retake the test. The changes, according to the ACT’s website, were made to better serve students.

A big new change for the ACT is having the choice of taking the test online. This is being implemented in order to help students who prefer to learn and assess themselves through technology instead of paper. Another benefit is that the students who take this version of the test get their scores about two business days after taking it. This allows students who need the information quickly to get it instead of waiting two weeks, allowing them to make more informed choices for college. “I personally like it,” Gannon Henry 20′ said. “I would enjoy not having to go to a school, probably one that I don’t know and I’m not comfortable at.” Henry has taken the test a total of three times, and while he agrees with the changes, he is sad he will not be able to take advantage of them. “I wish I had that, its great for the people taking it now, but I’m a little bit salty I’m not getting it,” Henry said.

The second change is allowing retakes on specific sections of the test. Normally students are given a specific time allowed to take each topic: 45 minutes for english, 60 minutes for math, 35 minutes for reading, 35 minutes for science, and another 40 minutes for the optional writing test. Adding this choice allows students to study for topics they need more help in and to improve their score. Retaking replaces the former score a student earned. “I personally agree with it,” Jacob Bennett 21′ said. ” It’s upgraded to what our grading system is similar to now.”  This change helps students who want to focus on one subject, which makes studying easier.  “I think it’s unfair if I do bad on a math section, to have to retake the entire thing again,” Bennett said.

The last change is a student can send in one Superscore to colleges. This is changing the current model, where if a student wanted to submit a Superscore they would send in multiple tests and they would show one averaged out score. Soon it will allow students to just send in just one score instead of multiple. This is for students who want to only show their best possible attempt to colleges. A Superscore is calculated by taking the scores from each section and  averaging them to give one score. While a lot of students would be excited about this, some are not. “I just think it’s kind of dumb,” Colin Chau 22′ said. Though he thinks it will make things easier, Chau believes it will discourage trying your best, because colleges will not be able to view a student’s progress or the amount of attempts. “Right now at our school, we can retest for almost anything,” said Chau. “That just makes it so kids don’t even try on the first attempt and just go for the retest.”

Even though not everyone agrees with the new changes, they definitely will change the way students graduating in 2021 and beyond will approach, study, and take the test. The big question is if these changes will help or harm the students who take it. The changes take effect on the national test date for the month of September in 2020.