Students’ College Strategies Change

The ACT board lays out new opportunities for students taking the ACT test

The ACT made several changes to accommodate the changing times.

The ACT made several changes to accommodate the changing times.

by Nicklas Johnston, Staff Writer

On Oct. 8 of this year, the ACT board announced changes for the ACT test. 

“I feel like the ACT has been the same forever, so I think change is a good thing,” Legend Chapman, a sophomore at St. Charles High School said.

Starting in September 2020, students will have new options on how to take the ACT test, which included section retesting.

“I think it’s a great idea. I think it’s something that should have been done earlier, but I’m glad that we’re finally starting to implement it,” Chapman said. 

With section retesting, students will be able to take only certain sections of the test on a specific day, instead of taking the whole four-section test.

“I like the idea. It keeps you from taking the test four or five times, and really putting a whole lot of pressure on yourself as a student versus allowing you to focus on one area,” Principal Jeff Walker said.

Along with the retesting, the ACT board announced its own form of superscoring. Though colleges create their own superscore, the ACT will now lay out an official superscore for colleges to use. The reasoning behind their choice is that these scores are more predictive of a student’s future performance in college. However, some people have some concerns about how this may work.

“Personally for me, I like the idea because it helps me get into a college because I know I am worth a university’s time,” Chapman said. “But I definitely think people are going to manipulate the system.”

The final change to the ACT is having the option to take the test online. With online testing, students will receive their test scores as soon as two days after taking the test. This makes it easier and faster to submit information to colleges for admission and scholarships. With the addition of online testing, students will still have the choice of whether they want to take it on paper or online. Walker thinks this is a good idea if it works.

“The question I ask about any online testing is: is it secure?” Walker said. “Can you prevent people from cheating? So there will always be some questions.”

Students now need to make their own decisions on how they will implement these new changes into their experience with the ACT.

“You will have kids taking less of the true ACT. You will take it once, more than likely, and then focus on different areas,” Walker predicts.

“It’s going to be less stressful because I’m not trying to focus on all the sections,” Chapman said. “I can focus more on one section, and don’t need to go over the stuff I’m already pretty good in.”

Overall, there are mixed feelings with the changes to the ACT. 

“Do I think they really had to do this change? Not necessarily,” Walker said. “But do I think they’re kind of moving with the times and going with what kids are facing now? Yes. It’s just them adjusting to what kids are like today.”