ACT guidelines change for the class of 2022



ACT is allowing students to retake just one section of the standardized test rather than all subjects starting next school year. [GateHouse Media file photo]

Laura Attarian, Managing Editor

Standardized tests have a reputation of being one of the stressful defining factors behind a college acceptance. However, ACT officials made changes to the guidelines and will now allow students to retake only one section of the test at a time or even to take it online.

The ACT is one of the college entrance exams that admission officers use to review applications. There are four sections for this test: reading, math, grammar, and science. These are all graded on a scale from 1 to 36 which are then averaged into one composite score.

The policy will take place on Sept. 2020, affecting current Juniors but mainly the class of 2022. According to a recent article in Forbes, over half of ACT takers attempt to take the test again to improve the score of one section, and this new option will allow giving an advantage to students who only want to better the score of one section. Test takers are now also given the option to take the test online on national test days at ACT test centers. This test format will report scores in just two days rather than the average of two weeks of a paper test.

These changes have not been celebrated by all. Some speculate that this will give further advantage to financially resourceful people. Robert Schaeffer, the  public education director of FairTest, stated that “The option to retake specific sections clearly benefits students from families with the means to pay for multiple testing sessions, thus increasing score gaps. Despite the controversy, the cost and details of the new ACT options have not yet been revealed.