The ACT has announced that it will begin offering a digital version of the ACT, in response to growing demand for flexible testing options. For us in the test prep world, this isn’t terribly surprising, given the SAT’s buzzy digital makeover, combined with the fact that the ACT has already been offered digitally for international test-takers since 2018. But it’s still big news, because it affects essentially all college-bound high schoolers! Here’s everything you need to know, along with our recommendations for test-takers.
When is the ACT going digital?
- The ACT will offer a “limited pilot” of a digital exam to 5,000 testers in December 2023. Registration for that pilot program began in July 2023.
- The ACT’s stated plan is to expand capacity to offer more opportunities for digital testing throughout 2024.
- The ACT has not indicated that the paper version of their test is going away anytime soon, and has stressed that they want to retain students’ ability to choose their preferred testing format.
How is the ACT changing?
When the SAT announced its new digital version, that change in testing medium came along with a host of other changes in the SAT’s structure and length. However, the ACT test will NOT be changing its structure, content, or length at all — the test will be exactly the same, only taken digitally! Other aspects of the ACT will also remain consistent regardless of testing format, such as score reporting, testing fees, and the fee waiver program.
Our recommendations for students
In the past, the ACT has struggled with the tech side of things. For that reason, we don’t advise volunteering for the ACT’s digital pilot program, as technical issues are likely! However, we’re very excited that this change essentially signals a future in which the ACT and SAT are taken digitally. Digital exams can improve accessibility and allow students greater autonomy over their testing experience; with our full line-up of digital ACT practice tests, we at Private Prep are well-positioned to support our students no matter what testing format they choose.
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