Dr. Moore answers questions related to the newly issued rule regarding ACT testing.
By Noah Mizer, ’21
Most colleges consider the ACT during the application process, and the test consists of five sections: math, reading, science, english and an optional writing. The ACT has recently announced a new rule that will allow students to retake certain sections of the test rather than the whole exam. Students can then compile their best scores in each section and send this information to colleges, provided that the colleges receiving the scores allow this “super scoring.” This rule will be effective September 2020. Dr. Kathy Moore answers questions related to this change.
Q: Can you describe this rule in your own words?
MOORE: Students will have the ability to retake individual sections rather than the entire test. ACT will offer super scoring. Several test centers will offer online testing so students can choose paper/pencil or online.
Q: Does this mean colleges will be expecting higher overall ACT scores, or that the average ACT score will go up?
MOORE: Because this is so new, we don’t really know much about the college side of things yet. For example, if a college doesn’t super score, then this new change won’t impact a college or their students.
Q: Will colleges still be reliant on the ACT or will we see the SAT become more popular?
MOORE: Any college or university accepts either ACT or SAT. My guess is that the ACT will become more popular because students will appreciate being able to go in and retake one test rather than the entire test.
Q: Will this affect students who don’t have access to tutors and coaching?
MOORE: It will affect students who don’t have the money to pay to retake certain sections. The system is already broke with regard to fairness and being able to access tutors and coaching. The positive is that both ACT and SAT offer free test prep (ACT Academy and Khan Academy).
Q: Will retaking a specific section cost just as much as retaking the whole test?
MOORE: We don’t know about the costs yet.
Q: Are there any clear disadvantages to this new rule?
MOORE: The disadvantage is for those students who can’t afford to pay to retake certain sections of the test.
Q: Will students have the option to take the ACT online?
MOORE: Yes, but this will likely only be at certain testing centers. We still don’t know much about this.
Q: Does the school offer any financial assistance to those wanting to take a standardized test?
MOORE: Students can qualify for ACT/SAT fee waivers if they meet certain criteria.
*Answers edited for length and clarity.