ACT Changes Allow Students to Retake the Test for a Higher Score More Easily


(2018). Man taking exam. [Photo]. Retrieved from Pixabay.

Lauren Guss, Staff Writer

  Beginning in September of 2020, the ACT will become much easier to retake for a higher score. 

  Officials at ACT (American College Testing) announced on Oct. 1 that they have changed a few aspects of this standardized test, which include being able to only retake one out of the five sections to receive a higher score. Instead of retaking the whole test, retaking only one part will increase the chance to score higher.

  The four required subsections of the test are reading, math, science and English, with a writing section being optional. These are graded on a scale of 1 to 36. All scores of each required section are then averaged into a composite score, which is a student’s final score on the ACT. 

  This is a mildly controversial process because the final score on this test does not represent which sections one scored high or low on. For example, if a student received a score of 34 on the math portion but a 24 on the reading portion, their final score will be altered and not show the high score received on the math portion.

  To resolve this issue, ACT announced that they will allow students to retake particular portions to receive a “superscore” by September 2020. This combines the highest scores on each section from each time a student took the test. This will result in ACT prep coaches working with students on one section at a time instead of the currently used process of reviewing for the entire test. 

  Instead of taking a test for approximately three hours, the process will be cut down drastically. Many students testing become tired and, in turn, are not as focused on the test. Being able to retake only one portion creates a more concentrated environment. The lessening of stress surrounding this test will allow students to focus their time and energy towards the college admissions process, which is very competitive and requires a lot of time to complete. 

  Only time will tell if these new policies will improve the way standardized tests are taken or if they will cause debates about the old and new ways of test-taking. In the meantime, students have to retake the entire test in order to boost their score.