ACT Introduces New Digital Exam Format

ACT Introduces New Digital Exam Format

As of Feb 2024, the standardized college admissions test known as the ACT will be available for students nationally to take as a digital exam at select locations. The digital exam was announced on May 30, 2023, via a letter from ACT CEO Ms. Janet Godwin. She revealed that a pilot exam with 5,000 testers would be run in Dec. to gather feedback on the new system, followed by efforts to increase capacity through 2024. Additionally, Godwin stated that the version of the test students choose to take is entirely up to them. She asserts that a positive testing experience is still paramount for those who take the exam.

“We want to give students greater autonomy over their testing experience, which is why our goal is to provide students with choice, flexibility, and accessibility, all while maintaining the high standards for which we are known.” Godwin wrote.

The digital ACT is designed to be consistent with the paper version- the two tests will cost the same, be the same length, use the same score reports, and have the same content.

Senior Ava Milisits, who took the paper test previously, feels that having the same amount of time allotted for each version puts those who take the digital exam at an advantage.

“I think it takes longer to circle and/or erase an answer than to click an answer,” Milisits said. 

When asked about her own test-taking experience, Milisits remarked that she had trouble changing answers as well as questions and passages not fitting on the same page- all problems that will seemingly be nonexistent in a digital format.

An additional advantage of the digital ACT is the increased access to resources for studying. Digital practice tests are much easier to find than their paper counterparts, making it difficult for takers of the paper version to do their preparation in the same medium as the test itself. 

Junior Olivia Ding took the paper exam in Feb and will be taking the digital version in June. Even though both she and Milisits were taking the pencil-and-paper exam, they did their studying online as well as on paper.

Concerns have arisen regarding the unpredictability of technology in this application. After technical issues with the digital PSAT in mid Oct. that Forbes refers to as a “disaster”, as well as the College Board’s confirmation that thousands of students experienced technical issues in early-to-late May with digital AP exams, there appears to be reason to worry.

“I know that last May, some digital AP tests crashed and students had to take that AP test another day which is such a big hassle,” Ding remarked. “I really hope that doesn’t happen for the ACT as well.”

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All The Poolesville Pulse Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    The New York TimesMar 4, 2024 at 9:27 am

    Wow! This was very informative! Great article!