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ACT to allow students to retake individual sections of exam

Students will soon also have the option to take the test online and combine their best scores to send colleges a 'superscore.'
Credit: AP
FILE - This April 1, 2014 file photo shows an ACT Assessment test in Springfield, Ill.

The ACT exam will now allow students to retake individual portions of the test without having to retake the entire exam. The changes were announced by the makers of the exam Tuesday.

The change is one of three the testing company announced. Along with the option to retake an individual section, students will also be able to take the exam online, and combine scores from multiple test sessions into a "superscore" that can be sent to colleges. The three changes will go into effect beginning with the September 2020 ACT test date. 

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. 

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The company said research suggests superscoring more accurately predicts how students will perform in college courses.

“Students come first at ACT, and these groundbreaking new options will directly benefit them, providing more choices, an improved testing experience, and a better opportunity to showcase their readiness and reach their maximum potential,” said Suzana Delanghe, ACT chief commercial officer. “With these changes, ACT is evolving to meet students in the digital world in which they live. We want to do a better job of helping them succeed.” 

Students who opt to take the exam online will receive their scores sooner, which gives students more time to plan for which colleges they will apply to. 

Students must still take a full ACT exam before they can choose a partial retake of the test. Retakes are only available in the online format, not paper-and-pencil. 

The ACT is administered once a month and costs $52 to register. The exam costs $68 for the ACT with the writing portion. 

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