A new change is coming to one of the most well-known college entrance exams, the ACT.
The ACT is one of two nationally-administered tests that various colleges and universities utilize to assess student candidates on their college applications.
High school students who have long worried about getting a perfect score on the test will find that in the following year, the stress will be reduced as they compete for admission at selective colleges and universities.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2019, the officials of the nonprofit organization ACT declared that starting in September 2020, high school students who would like to increase their test scores would be allowed to retake individual sections of the original five-part examination.
The standardized ACT typically requires students to allocate three full hours to complete the test. But with the new ACT change, it will now be acceptable to take the ACT examination again for the single sections that you would like to strengthen. In essence, high school students will no longer have to sit through a full three hours and retake the entire ACT.
With this new upcoming ACT modification, students will avoid receiving lower marks on previous parts they had already taken.
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The question that parents and students are asking the most is "why?".
The latest alteration to the ACT test arises alongside the ensuing debate of how standardized testing in college admissions may or may not be the most suitable evaluation of a student's academic ability.
Moreover, the discussion goes further to ponder whether standardized testing in admissions has exacerbated the common topic of social inequality or economic disparities in college selection.
Although most universities are increasingly making the SAT, ACT, or other forms of standardized testing optional in the college application process, many young students still need to receive high marks on the examination as it remains a beneficial component in enhancing their application amongst a highly saturated pool of competitive applicants.
You can expect that students will be dedicating a significant amount of their studying to improving the sections that they can now retake, indicating that more preparation and counseling to be tailored to a student's specific weaknesses on the ACT portions that they poorly on.
Alongside the news of being able to retake sections of the ACT test, the change will hopefully allow students to considerably increase their test results. It is important to note that students will require additional guidance on how to properly find their previous mistakes and improve their preceding exam strategies on the ACT sections that they are redoing.
With that in mind, a new "superscore" will be incorporated in the ACT's recent change.
The current ACT examination has five subsections: reading, math, science, English, and writing. Students can select whether or not they take the writing portion, but each section is graded on a magnitude of 1 to 36. With the four ACT required sections, students will receive an averaged composite score.
As mentioned previously, the new change is intended to take place in the next September (2020). The ACT's decision to allow students to retake individual sections of their examination will lead to a new "superscore" that merges a student's greatest marks on the ACT subsections from every separate time they took the examination.
If you are a high school student who has formerly taken the ACT exam more than once and would like for universities and colleges to see your leading test marks, you will have to submit various ACT results.
The new ACT "superscore" will automatically compute your highest possible ACT composite score contingent on all of your previous examination results.
What are the intentions of the ACT organization by executing this new policy?
In order to take the complete test, it currently costs students $52 without the voluntary writing portion versus the $68 if you do take the written section. From this modification on the ACT, the officials of the non-profit organization will have to develop pricing for the individual sections that will be taken. ACT representatives have confirmed that students retaking separate sections of the exam will pay a more affordable price.
According to ACT representative, Ed Colby, the recent change aims to reduce the time students are spending on the test while also saving their money.
They might think, "Why do I have to sit through and take all these tests again if I only need to improve my math score?" We're trying to save them time. We're trying to save them money.
Beyond saving a student's time, the change's purpose is to better serve students on the standardized test, as mentioned by Mary Michael Pontzer, a vice president at ACT.
ACT is a nonprofit organization. We're mission driven. This is about the students. We're excited to see how these new options will help students reach their maximum potential.
For the first time in the ACT's history, students will be able to choose between an online or paper version of the exam.
Another major change alongside the ability to retake sections of the exam is the option to select an online test version that will provide students with swift results in only two days.
Compared to the current paper-and-pencil version of the ACT test, the original takes approximately two weeks or more for students to obtain their examination scores. Rather than waiting for two to eight weeks for test-takers to receive their scores, the online structure will provide supplementary time for students to study and decide whether or not they would like to retake the exam.
If you prefer the standardized paper form of the ACT, it will now be administered only on national test dates.
ACT chief commercial officer, Suzana Delanghe, states that the intention of the proposed modifications are meant to help students succeed in their academics.
With these changes, ACT is evolving to meet students in the digital world in which they live. We want to do a better job of helping them succeed.
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With the opportunity to retake ACT sections that you performed poorly on, test preparation will become more crucial than ever for students.
Test-strategists usually work with students on the whole examination, working to develop a foundation in each of the four core subsections all at once. With the new development in the ACT test, students will be able to work on individual subject areas at a time with tutors and counselors, making the educational process more focused and beneficial to the learner.
Through being able to retake certain portions, students will find it additionally beneficial and stress-relieving that they will no longer have to take part in a three-hour-long comprehensive exam. Testing in separate sections of the ACT rather than sitting through an entire test not only reduces the amount of test-taking anxiety but will also possibly increase a student's ability to perform academically better.
The maximum amount of times that students are permitted to take the ACT test is up to twelve times, however, most generally take it either once or twice. Through the soon-to-be-implemented alteration of the ACT, you may begin to notice that more students are willing to take the examination more than once or twice.