ACT Test Changes September 2020

In a news release on October 8, 2019, the ACT announced several key changes that will take effect in September 2020. 

ACT test changes may mean higher scores, especially for the wealthy

They include:

1.  Retakes

As of September 2020, students who have already taken the entire ACT will be allowed to retake individual sections of the ACT. In other words, after you’ve taken one complete ACT, you’ll then have the option to retake only those specific sections where you want to improve your score.

The upside for you? After you’ve once taken the test, your subsequent prep work can hone in on only those sections where you hope for a better score.

2.  Superscoring

As of September, 2020, students will be able to send an official test report to colleges that includes a “superscore.”

The upside for you? The decision by the ACT to allow students to send official reports that include a superscore helps simplify the reporting process for college applicants. This should eliminate a good deal of confusion that applicants and their parents now contend with.

3.  Expanded options for online testing

Test takers will now have more options for online testing on national test days. In addition, the results from online exams will be available in two days as opposed to the current two weeks.
The upside for you? Because of the faster turn around time at the ACT, students will gain two advantages. First, college applicants can get an earlier start on focused test prep should they wish to retake any parts of the test. Second, more college applicants will be able to submit scores to colleges in time for early deadlines.

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It’s expected that the SAT will soon follow suit and announce similar changes.

All of that said, however, it’s widely hoped that these latest changes will lead more colleges to consider moving to a test-optional or no-test admissions policy. Let’s face it: the changes recently announced by the ACT favor wealthier applicants who can afford to take the test over and over (at present, the standard version of the test costs $52, $68 if the student opts to take the writing portion as well; the ACT has not yet announced the cost of retakes, but they won’t be free). In addition, if the test is designed to differentiate between students, if more and more students’ scores begin to fall within a more and more narrow band, of what use the measure?

WCP will be keeping an eye out for further developments.

Need help mastering the ACT or SAT?  Call me! I’m always ready to help you.

Dr. Osborn works with students from all over the world via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, phone, and Google docs to help them reach their independent, college, and graduate school goals. Through a personal, one-on-one approach, Dr. Osborn creates an individualized curriculum for each student based on the student’s strengths, passions, and college aspirations. Her holistic approach helps students perform well in school and win admission to the Ivy League and other competitive colleges.  

About The Author

Susan Osborn, Ph.D., has spent 30 years in higher education, in admissions at Vassar College, in the English department and Writing Program at Rutgers University, in the lab at The New Jersey Center for Research on Writing, and as a private tutor. Dr. Osborn is also an award-winning writer and scholar and she brings both her education smarts and her writing smarts to every student relationship.