Breaking News: ACT focuses on availability, delays section retesting

This afternoon, ACT, Inc announced that it would not begin section retesting in September of this year as planned. In a post on the ACT’s leadership blog, the testing agency stated that the debut of section retesting will be pushed to 2021, but didn’t give any more specific information regarding the timeline.

This decision may come as a let-down for students who had planned to start retaking individual sections in September to boost their superscores, particularly since ACT, Inc has been hyping the benefits of section retesting for almost nine months now. However, the testing agency has a very good reason for delaying the rollout of section retesting: the need for more testing seats to accommodate students whose test dates were cancelled due to COVID-19.

The April administration of the ACT was cancelled worldwide due to COVID-19 concerns, and the recent June administration was cancelled by many individual testing sites, some at the very last minute. This means that there’s a huge demand for seats in the September ACT, as both seniors and juniors will be testing in large numbers. In that light, the decision makes sense: ACT, Inc is pushing section retesting back so that there are more available seats for students to take full ACTs in September and following test administrations. The ACT’s blog makes their goals clear: “Our priority is to expand access to full ACT testing, particularly for students in need of a composite score for admissions decisions, scholarship opportunities, placement, and career insights.”

Despite the section retesting delay, the ACT plans to go forward with the other two big changes anticipated for September: computer-based testing and superscored reports. 

The blog post also clarified what the ACT is doing to ensure a smooth July 18th test date. In an effort to cut down on last-minute cancellation notices, the ACT is requesting that testing centers notify them as to their open/closed status by late June. Students should know the status of their testing site by the end of June, but the ACT also noted that things can change between the end of June and the July test date. The blog post also confirmed the ACT’s dedication to developing a remote proctoring option.

Here at Applerouth, we’ve been tracking the upcoming ACT changes since last October, and we’ll continue to do so. We’ll be updating our ACT Changes homepage to reflect the new timeline for section retesting and we’ll keep you posted on any further changes. If you have any questions, please reach out to us! Our Program Advisors are here to help you understand the impact these changes may have on your student’s testing journey.

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