ACT makes new changes to test

Sophia Sgourakis, Staff Writer

There are many mixed emotions towards the ACT. How can 16 years of schooling be narrowed down into one test? And how can that one test affect a high school student’s future plans? However, the ACT officials have made some new improvements so that perhaps their test won’t be so hated.
One of the changes will allow students to retake single sections of the five-part test in order to best show their knowledge on a particular subject. Starting in September of 2020, this option will be available. However, students can only take advantage of this once they have taken the full ACT test. The retest will be identical in content covered, timing and the number of questions. Section retesting will be allowed seven times a year, on the same days as the national ACT test. Students will be allowed three section retakes on any test day. Other than this limit, there are no limits to the number of times a student can take a retest.
With this new opportunity, many students are set up for even more success. Now, students will be able to just focus on one specific section rather than all five. Students can pay attention to the one subject that has the lowest score. Therefore, a student’s composite ACT score, which is an average of the score from each test, will improve as their lowest score will be improving as well.
Many see this change as a way to help people from all kinds of income levels. Akil Bello, a college consultant, said, “In the world we live in, the ACT advantages the rich who have coaches, who have advisers, who are strategically crafting their plan to take them to college.” But with this new change, ACT classes and coaches won’t be necessary. Instead, it is up to the student to study one section intensely in order to improve that score. Also, a single section test retake will be significantly cheaper than having to take the whole test again for $52 or $68 with writing. Money will not be as big of an issue because of this change.
The change doesn’t stop there though. The ACT will now be offered online for students at test locations. If the test is taken online, results will be reported as soon as two business days after the test date, rather than two to three weeks. These faster test results will also allow schools and scholarships to make better, more informed and timely decisions.
Some students also work better on computers rather than with pen and pencil. Now with the two options, students have been provided with greater flexibility, choices and more options. ACT officials say, “By doing so [offering online test], we are able to achieve our mission to help ALL learners achieve education and workplace success.”
With these changes, students may not dread and oppose the ACT as much. Although the class of 2020 will miss out on these opportunities, I am more than happy that I will be able to take advantage of these changes for one more year!