(Meredith) - Starting next year, high school students who want to improve their ACT scores can choose to retake individual sections of the college admission test rather than retaking the entire exam.
The new option, announced Tuesday, will allow students to avoid getting a worse grade on a section of the test they previously scored well on.
ACT officials said the content and format of the test will not change, and the integrity of the exam will remain intact whether it's taken in whole or in part.
"Our research shows that ACT scores for students who take individual section tests are consistent with those earned when they take the entire test," Suzana Delanghe, ACT chief commercial officer, said in a statement. "We are simply offering new ways to take the ACT, saving students time and giving them the ability to focus only on subject areas needing improvement.”
In addition to retaking subsections of the test, students will have the option to take the ACT online on days when it is administered nationwide. Online results will be available within two business days, rather than the two to eight weeks it usually takes to get results from the standard paper tests.
In a third policy shift, the company will start providing a "superscore" for students who have taken the exam more than once. The so-called superscore will combine their best scores from the different times they took the test.
"New ACT research suggests that superscoring is actually more predictive of how students will perform in their college courses than other scoring methods," said Delanghe.
All three changes are set to take effect in September 2020.