National Changes for ACT Starting in September 2020

Published October 11, 2019

The ACT will implement three significant changes starting in September 2020. The changes were announced in October 2019.

SECTION RETESTING

The ACT exam will now allow students to retake individual portions of the test without having to retake the entire exam. Section retesting will be available online only, and, as a result, retesting will only be available to those students who have access to test sites that offer online ACT administrations (more on that below).

ONLINE TESTING ON TEST DATES

Schools that are ACT test sites will have the option to offer both paper testing and online testing. The digital ACT will have the same timing, content, and format as the paper tests, and ACT claims there is no advantage to taking the test in one form or another. The key benefit of digital testing is the ability to receive score results more quickly – two days to get scores for a digital test, versus two weeks or longer for physical tests.

SUPERSCORE REPORTING

Students can combine scores from multiple test sessions into a “superscore” that can be sent to colleges. In the past, applicants could self-report their superscore, which combines the best scores on multiple exams, to colleges that accepted superscores. The ACT’s new policy means that the testing company will report the superscores on behalf of applicants, giving the score more legitimacy.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR OUR STUDENTS 

For the class of 2021 (current juniors), the 2020 spring and summer test dates remain full-length, paper tests, and even if online testing is implemented in September, paper testing will still be available and likely will be the predominant option.