ACT: New Additions


Carlie Clements, Staff Writer

Beginning in September of 2020, the ACT will look a bit different.

The people of the ACT leadership team have taken into account the ideas people have about better improving the test as a whole, so for that reason, the ACT will now have features such as superscoring, single section retesting, and online testing options.

Superscoring is the process of taking your four best section test scores from any given testing section and using them together as your final score. Once you have taken the full ACT more than once or have done section retesting, you will then be able to directly submit your ACT superscore to your university or college of choice.

This new process used on the ACT will most likely give you a better chance of getting into the school of your dreams with a higher overall test composite score. Even though the people from ACT were concerned that superscoring would overestimate a student’s readiness levels for college, according to, their studies have shown that this new method is, in fact, more predictive of a student’s performance levels.

With these new changes to the ACT such as superscoring in place, Ben Gardner, an alumnus from the class of 2019, sees the benefits of these changes.

“I definitely think there will be an increase in people taking and retaking the test and I would be one of them,” Gardner said.

The ACT leadership team is also introducing an option to do single section retesting to the test’s structure. 

Students will be able to retake sections of the test, without having to complete retake the test as a whole. For instance, if you have already taken the ACT once before and met benchmarks in every section besides science, you could now just retake the science portion of the test singularly. 

“If I took different parts of the test at different times I could maybe think longer and get better,” explains Carl DeFrees, a senior.

If you were only focused on one single portion of the test, you would be able to focus all of your energy on that said section, study for only that single section, and do your absolute best in that section.

“You’re less stressed because if you’re exhausted by the end, it can be redone to reflect your actual knowledge of the subject,” freshman Ryley Mcguffin said.

This new change can cause the test as a whole to be less stressful by giving you a chance to change the outcome of your previous test scores without having to worry about excelling in the other sections, because what is most important to many, such as Gardner, is “to get a better score, so I could go to college.”

Three out of the four students interviewed say that they would be more willing to retake the ACT with this alteration in place. This change will give students an advantage in testing as they will only be obligated to complete a small portion, which will take much less time.

This option will save students time and stress, as some like Bethany Blackstone, a senior, “mainly have retaken the test multiple times to improve just one of my scores in a certain section.” 

An online version will be added to the foundation of the test as well. Online testing will give students a new perspective on the whole fabrication of the ACT.

Online testing will produce quicker results. This will allow students to send off their test scores to colleges in as few as two days.

While students like DeFrees say that an online format of the test would not make the test in any way easier, students such as Blackstone disagree.

 “Yes, I feel more people are used to screen nowadays that paper copy seems very daunting. I would prefer it online,” she said.”Many kids do not actually read books, they stare at their screens. Having the test online, in my opinion, may make students more comfortable because it’s what they’re used too.”

Giving registrants the ability to make decisions on how they take the test will possibly make them overall more comfortable, hopefully leading to better scores. Subsequently, online testing will be a beneficial addition to the test for many students. 

The ACT’s new changes– superscoring, single section retesting, and online testing, — will add more freedom to the way the test is taken and administered, hopefully leading to incredible results.

“This will obviously be an advantage to students… giving them a chance to put their best foot forward,” says Kim Cardin, Junior Counselor.