Improving the College Prep Test Experience
ACT, a non-profit organization nationally recognized for its college and career readiness exams, recently announced enhancements to its college entrance exam, the ACT® test. With the changes, ACT aims to improve the test experience for students and increase access to higher education opportunities for high schoolers nationwide.
Changes to the ACT Test
The ACT announced that beginning in September 2020, students looking to improve their ACT test scores can retake individual sections of the test instead of having to sit for the entire exam. They also announced that students will have an online option at ACT test centers on testing days and that the ACT will report superscores for students that have taken the test multiple times. Speaking from personal experience as the father of two current high school students, one of whom is living the college application process right now, these are welcome changes.
By allowing the students who are retesting to focus on individual sections of the exam, ACT believes it will lead to better test results and additional educational and scholarship opportunities. An added bonus for students is not having to sit for the entire exam when retesting – a huge time saver for students. The new online option will bring about faster test results and the reporting of superscores provides clarity, helping students better plan for higher education after school.
Arizona desperately needs to get more students to go to college
According to the Arizona Board of Regents recent College Going & Completion Update, just 17 percent of Arizona high school freshman will graduate college by 2028. Arizona’s four-year degree attainment rate is half the national rate. The lack of high school students ultimately graduating with college degrees is a direct threat to the future of our state’s economic competitiveness.
These changes are not only helpful, but necessary. If Arizona is going to address its abysmal college going rate, Arizona needs to take proactive steps to improve testing and increase post-secondary opportunities for students. The changes announced for the ACT® test will help Arizona in these efforts.
We need more of our high school students to not only think about their post-secondary opportunities, but we need more of them to attend and graduate from college…and that all starts with exposing more students to the college entrance exams and inspiring a college bound future.
A step in the right direction
Thanks to Governor Ducey and our state legislature, Arizona is following the lead of so many other states and is now administering a college entrance exam to all 11th graders during school. Arizona needs more districts, like Phoenix Union High School District, to name one, who are igniting a college going culture by administering the ACT® test in the classroom.
The ACT is also committed to helping students achieve success through its free learning and test prep resources online at ACT academy (https://academy.act.org/). Since ACT’s leadership does not believe that a student’s family income should determine educational or career opportunities, it offers a test fee waiver program to eligible students. Qualifying students also receive free access to ACT’s test prep resources.
We at HighGround are grateful for the opportunity to work with ACT to bring about these changes to improve Arizona’s college going rate of High School Seniors. ACT is helping Arizona move in the right direction to improve our student’s educational opportunities.
Click here for a full description of the changes ACT will be introducing in 2020.