New ACT policy relieves stress for future test-takers


Morgan White

Junior Maya Schultz studying for the ACT test

Morgan White, Writer

On Oct. 8, 2019, according to CNN, the ACT announced that starting in the fall of 2020 the ACT will be changing. The ACT is one of two national tests many colleges use to judge students’ readiness for college. In the past, in order to improve scores, students had to retake the whole test to improve each individual score in English, math, reading and science section, but now students can retake an individual section. The test will change from pencil and paper to digitally at a testing center where it’s administered nationally. That means test-takers will receive their results quickly. Both changes are meant to better serve students and spare them unnecessary time taking all sections within tests. This school year the standard ACT charge is $52 per session or $68 with the writing option. The ACT has yet to announce what the cost of the individual sections will be. Students with disabilities who qualify for an extended time or other testing accommodations on the ACT will also be able to use the partial-retake option.

I’m excited to be able to focus on one section that I especially struggle on so I won’t be as stressed.”

— Marlee Dutton

The actual material within the tests remains the same. The change with the greatest potential to affect college admissions is the introduction of a “super score.” It applies to students who have taken the test more than once, and it’s a composite score of their best results in each subject. This will potentially make getting into college more competitive. Senior Carly Christenson has taken the ACT two times, and she said, “I don’t want to take the test again because it takes too long and is extremely draining.” Christenson feels that the new policy is unfair because she didn’t get the opportunity to take advantage of it like the juniors will as well as every class under them. She feels the new policy would have helped her score improve greatly because she especially struggled in one section. With this new policy going into place, it is a possibility that competition will increase for college acceptance given that it will be more attainable to increase scores.

For the underclassmen, they have no problem taking advantage of the new policies. Sophomore Marlee Dutton said, “I think that it’s fair that I will be able to take advantage of the new policy and seniors won’t because it’s probably going to make it more competitive for us now that it’s easier to improve our score.” Dutton feels she will be confident going into testing for the first time because of the new policies placed. Junior Maya Schultz plans on taking the test at least two times before she can take advantage of the new policy. She feels she will need to retake the science section individually because that is the hardest subject for her. She said, “I’m excited to be able to focus on one section that I especially struggle on so I won’t be as stressed.”

The ACT is offered at OHS for all juniors on April 7, 2019. The changes will begin in the fall of 2020.