Point – The Pros of the ACT Policy Change


Megan Benzing, Hilltopper Editor

The ACT is not everyone’s favorite national test to take. When your palms are sweaty, pencil clicking, your knees bouncing, all you want to do is just get it over with. However, with this new system change that will allow students to retake individual sections of the ACT, high schoolers may find this exam surprisingly simpler.

On Tuesday, October 8th, officials at ACT announced that students will be offered the opportunity to retake any individual sections of the ACT if needed starting on the September 2020 test date. This will open doors for any high schooler who potentially struggles with testing or timing themselves because it will be for a shorter time period. Students would be able to retake specific sections rather than the entire test, which lasts about three hours, according to New York Times.

There are five subsections when it comes to the ACT – English, reading, math, science and writing, which is an optional section. You are graded on a scale from 1-36 in these sections and will be averaged into a composite score. But when you take into consideration that students will be able to take individual sections of the test, this opens doors for so many high schoolers nationally.

According to The Hill, the ACT will also start allowing to combine section score to different tests to create an ACT “superscore”, as they called it. This is when you have taken the Act multiple times and you have your final result that you can be satisfied to show the colleges.

New York Times confirms, “Superscoring would primarily benefit the ACT, by encouraging students to take its exam instead of the rival SAT.”

Although the ACT is a highly valued exam to many colleges, I would also recommend taking the SAT to show variety. Similar to “superscoring”, this is not the only policy that was changed.

When it comes to retaking the ACT, you actually have the option of taking it online, rather than with paper and pencil. The only possible dilemma is that you would have to drive to the certain location in which the test is being taken. However, that would most likely be in your general school district. Unlike a paper and pencil test that usually takes 2-8 weeks after finishing, an online assessments results would only take nearly two business days.

Another change occurring has to do with a subject we talk about on the daily, money. Now, the costs would be different when taking individual sections of the exam. “Taking the whole test costs $52 without the optional writing section, and $68 with it”, New York Times explains. However, ACT officials predict taking an individual section would be cheaper, although the prices are not decided yet.

Overall, the point of the ACT is to see where you stand academically. This national assessment helps tremendously with college acceptance, scholarships, and even your first real world job. With this new system in session, I predict great things can happen for future students.