The ACT is broken down into four major sections. Currently, if a student does poorly in one section and decides they want to take the test again to try and improve their score, they would have to retake the entire ACT. It’s a tricky situation for students to be in, and less than half of students ever retake the ACT. Research has shown, though, on average students who retake the ACT score 3 points higher. The New York Times released, starting this September, the ACT test will soon allow students to retake a certain section of the ACT. Allowing students to retake a section will give students what some institutions have coined a “superscore”.
With this new change students are placed in a much better situation to improve their overall scores while alleviating a large amount of stress as well. If a student wants to only retake the Math section of the ACT they will have the freedom to focus solely on the Math section while prepping for the next ACT test. The hours required to sit down and take the ACT will drastically reduced as well. Students will be able to come in, take the section they need and leave.
This small change to the ACT is already having a large impact. These new “superscores” bring great opportunities for students. Students now can have ACT prep class tailored towards just the one section of the ACT they need to improve. The ACT test will also offer more online locations for students to go take the test and potentially get the results back within a few days instead of the sometimes weeks it can take.
This change is a step in the right direction; however, it isn’t without some concerns. USA Today reminds everyone that Colleges do not have to use the “superscore,” and can opt to use scores from a single test. Another concern are the fees. Taking the ACT isn’t free and retaking the ACT won’t be free either. CNN recently published an article covering this same topic and with their research they concluded on average only 45% of students ever retake the ACT. Students in lower economic brackets are eligible for waivers that in turn make taking the ACT free. This gives students in need a level playing field. Retaking the ACT sections will also be covered under these waivers, but these waivers aren’t guaranteed. Just because a student needs a waiver doesn’t mean they will meet the criteria set up to get the fee waived. A student from a higher economic bracket can potentially retake a specific part of the ACT as many times as needed to improve their score.
We encourage all of our readers to take a look at the articles linked throughout this post covering the change!