ACT calls the September 2020 changes “enhancements”,
but LEAP questions whether this will lead to opportunity or chaos.
Ultimately, the answer mostly lies with the colleges,
and what they will accept as official ACT scores.
Time will tell. Until then, here is what students can expect.
Online Testing Option
Starting with the September 2020 test, students will be able to choose between pencil-to-paper and online testing. Registration for this will open after the July 18, 2020 test. Online testing has been available for state and district testing since 2015 and internationally (to reduce cheating scandals) since 2018.
The vast majority of state and district testing, including Ohio, is still pencil-to-paper. Feedback to LEAP is many schools who try online testing ultimately return to paper due to student performance; however, computer-based assessments seem to be part of the future. We suspect that test sites for online testing will be limited due to the infrastructure required to pull it off successfully.
Students opting for the online option will receive their results as soon as 2 business days. Pencil-to-paper testers currently receive results in their online ACT account as soon as 7 business days after testing.
With the new “enhancements”, students will now be able to retest on only specific sections (English, math, reading, science and/or writing) after they have taken a full-length ACT either online or pencil-to-paper. Students are permitted to take the ACT up to 12 times (not recommended by LEAP though!), and this would allow students to focus their prep and retesting on only one section at a time, if they choose. Others may wisely opt to retest over the entire test at once in either pencil-to-paper or online format.
Details on Section Retesting:
- Only available in an online format
- Not available on state and district testing dates
- Given on national test dates only at sites hosting online testing
- Pricing is yet to be determined by ACT
ACT SuperScore Reporting
If you don’t know what a SuperScore is, learn more here in our previous blog post. Previously, for colleges accepting ACT SuperScores, students had to order multiple score reports via ACT to send to the colleges where the admissions office would then create the SuperScore. At a cost of $13 per test date per school you send to, this can add up.
Beginning in the fall of 2020, ACT will actually create a SuperScore report in-house that can be sent to colleges. We’ve got the list of colleges that SuperScore here – get your copy!
Colleges Have the Final Word
With all the changes, one thing doesn’t change: colleges are in charge. They rule the roost by each creating their own unique admission test policies. Some SuperScore; some don’t. Some are test-optional; others aren’t. Some require the writing portion; most won’t. It goes on.
What remains to be seen is how colleges will respond to the “enhancements”. Will this move more schools toward SuperScoring ACT and SAT? Will colleges permit scores from section retesting to be considered? The jury is out.
Until then for the class of 2021 and beyond, LEAP highly recommends students create a testing timeline, prep plan and retest strategy that sets the student up to meet the most stringent of college ACT policies which would be section retesting not permitted. We will update our advice as the colleges decide on admission policies. Stay up to date by subscribing to the LEAP blog.
Contact us for expert assistance on your individualized testing plan.
Email or Phone: 513-754-2240