Updates on New ACT Options

In June, ACT provided several updates on its plans for the 2020-2021 school year, including one announcing additional test dates in September and October. Given the frequent changes surrounding the exam throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to stay up to date on what is happening with the ACT.

Additional Exam Dates
ACT has added an additional five test dates (see below) to this year’s fall offerings in an attempt to increase the availability of testing and give students more opportunities to take the exam. Registration for the fall ACT dates is scheduled to begin during the last week of July. For more information about registration, parents and students can sign up for email reminders directly from ACT.

ACT dates

Expanded Online Testing in Designated Centers
Beginning with the September exams, students will be able to register for either a traditional paper exam or for an online version of the exam at select testing centers. ACT has previously administered online versions of the exam in some U.S. schools and internationally, but will now expand the option to testing centers equipped with the appropriate devices. A notable advantage to online testing for some students, especially those in the class of 2021, will be the short wait time for scores, reported to be as little as two business days. The quicker delivery of score reports will allow students more time and greater options for submitting scores to colleges. Students will be able to locate nearby centers offering the online testing options during the registration process starting in July.

Section Retesting
Earlier this year, ACT announced plans to allow Section Retesting, a feature which would allow students with previous composite scores to register for individual sections of the exam, beginning in the fall of 2020. However, ACT recently released a statement indicating that they will be delaying the rollout of this feature in order to increase availability to the exam in response to the effects of the pandemic.

Superscoring Policies
Although Section Retesting has been delayed, ACT has continued its recommendation that schools consider superscoring when assessing students’ ACT scores. Superscoring is a policy which allows students to submit their top scores from each section across multiple exam dates in order to create a higher overall composite score which has been proven to be a stronger indicator of students’ future academic success than composite scores from a single administration. Superscoring policies vary on a college to college basis; however, the addition of Section Retesting and ACT’s support for the policy will likely influence colleges’ decisions moving forward.

Readers can visit ACT.org for further details regarding these updates or to register for the exam. For more exam news on the ACT and SAT, as well as information on test prep and college admissions, be sure to subscribe to Method Test Prep’s blog.

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