ACT policy changes grant new opportunities

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Photo by: Shikha Patel, Shruti Patel, and Cade Spencer

Changes have been made for the ACT and will be . enforced in 2020.

Cade Spencer, Managing Editor

As a high school senior assembles their college applications, standardized test scores, such as the ACT and SAT, can play an important role in their college admission process.

When they are put into affect in September 2020, three changes to the ACT could make it easier for students to increase their testing scores.

“The ACT and SAT are really important for college admissions because I think it’s one of the only things besides rank and GPA that colleges can compare for all students that apply to their school,” senior Jacy Lim said. “The standardized tests help [colleges] figure out where a student may be.”

As of this year, students who wanted to increase their final score had  to retake the entire test; however, one of the new policies would allow students to retake individual sections of the exam (the four sections include reading, English, math, and science).

“ACT is  saying that these changes will benefit students because they will allow them the opportunity to focus on one section,” College and Career Advisor Carli Valverde said. “If you did good on your reading section, but you did bad on your math section, then you can focus on math, study for it, and then you can retake it.”

In addition to the retesting of individual sections, students will also be allowed to take advantage of ACT super-scoring. Super-scoring is when students average their best individual section scores, from multiple tests, to create a new total score.

“These changes might cause people to have new strategies to take the ACT, and it will be hard to compare everyone because it will be easier for people to increase their scores,” Lim said. “I feel like it is not fair unless the SAT changes to allow students to retake individual sections of the exam as well.”

In order to move towards more paperless testing, the final policy change will give students the option to take the test on the computer, which would decrease the time required to return scores to almost two business days according to act.org.

“I do not know if these changes will affect the ACT, even if the scores are higher than originally, because the ACT will have to take into consideration that they had to retest,” Valverde said. “I usually go to college updates held for college counselors, and it will be interesting to see how [colleges] will respond to the ACT changes.”

Senior Katie Cole believes these changes could benefit students because of the importance of standardized test scores in college applications.

“I think a good ACT/SAT score shows colleges that [a student] has the required skills in math, reading, and writing for college,” Cole said. “SAT/ACT scores are important to applications, but I don’t think they are deal breakers.”