How Changes to the 2020 ACT Will Affect Students Next Year

Big changes are coming to the ACT next year! Starting in September 2020, there will be more options for taking the ACT. These changes will help students focus on their important subjects, get their results sooner, and most importantly – increase their scores!

Here’s a quick summary of the changes:

ACT 2020 changes
Starting September 2020
Section Retesting: 
Students can retake individual sections rather than having to take the entire test again.
Students must have taken the complete test at least once before retaking individual sections.
Pricing for individual section retakes will be announced soon, but will be less than the cost of entire test.

Students' highest scores for each section across all test attempts will be averaged to demonstrate a students best score.
For example: 1st attempt- 22 in math and 17 in reading. 2nd attempt- 20 in math and 21 in reading.  Superscore calculated using 22 in math and 21 in reading. 

Online Testing 
Students can choose online or paper testing.
Online testing must be completed at an ACT testing center.
Online test results will be delivered faster than paper test results- in 2 business days.

Re-taking the ACT just got a lot easier. The ACT has 4 mandatory sections and 1 optional section. Students must complete the English, math, reading, and science components and can choose to complete the writing component. In 2019, your total score is based off your sub-scores in each mandatory section. Each section is worth a total of 36 points, and your final score is calculated by averaging your scores in the four mandatory subjects. This is called a composite score. A perfect score of 36 on each section would result in an average of 36 (the highest possible total score). The 2018-2019 the national average was just under 21 points.

So why does this all matter? In the past, if you weren’t satisfied with your score, you would be required to take the entire exam again. That’s right – all four sections! However, starting next year – all this is going to change! Students will be allowed to retake just the specific sections they want to improve upon. For example, let’s say on your first ACT attempt, you score highly in English, reading, and science. Your math score, however, is lower than you’d like. Instead of having to retake the entire ACT again (and risk a lower composite score) – you can retake just the math section! It is important to remember that you must take the full ACT exam at least once before you will be eligible to sit single sections.

Currently, only about 45% of students choose to retake the exam. Between the cost of sitting the exam, having to schedule a test date, and the risk of a lower composite score many students decide to just leave their score “as is” instead of committing to the whole process over again. With these new changes, students will be able to focus only on the areas they want to improve. This will mean earning a higher overall score will be more achievable for many students!

Bringing in the Superscore. Some colleges already calculate your Superscore and use it when considering you for admission. In 2020 the ACT will bring in the Superscore and include it in your results. A Superscore is the average of your best score in each subject – even if those scores come from different attempts. With these new changes, the ACT will calculate your Superscore and allow you to report it to the colleges you are applying to!

Get your results faster. The ACT is also introducing online testing and students will be able to choose between pen and paper or online exams. Online testing will still take place at an ACT testing center, but your results will be available within 2 business days.

Tailor your test prep. Traditionally, it has been recommended that students enroll in test prep programs. Not only do these programs focus on all of the individual subjects, but also on techniques and strategies for test-taking (things like time management, coming back to the hard questions, etc). These new changes allow us to tailor our test prep programs to specific subjects, test taking strategies, and students. This means that students will be able to prepare for retakes in a way that works for them and focus only on the subjects they want to improve.

Our tutors are ready to help! All of the tutors we work with are knowledgeable in test preparation skills and subject mastery. If your student plans to take the ACT , then now is the perfect time to start practicing! Our tutors are experts in designing individualized instructional plans to fit each students unique needs and learning style. Working with a private, in-home and online test prep tutor is one of the best ways to identify a student’s learning gaps and start filling those cracks.

For a free consultation, call today!