Changes to the Fall 2018 ACT

The ACT recently announced that it is making two major changes to the test that will go into effect in September of this year.

First, students who have been approved for time and a half (Timing Code 6) will no longer have a self-paced block of time in which to complete the test. They will now have a hard stop after each section. Please see here for more information on these changes.

Second, for students with regular time, the ACT will be adding a mandatory experimental section that will be 20 minutes long prior to the essay. This section will not be factored into your score and, perhaps, some students will use the time as an added moment of rest before diving into the essay.

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University of Chicago Goes Test-Optional

While over 1000 schools in the United States are test-optional, there has been a growing trend over the last few years for more competitive colleges to adopt this policy. You can find a complete list of test-optional schools here, but some of these colleges include College of the Holy Cross, Connecticut College, DePaul University, and George Washington University.

The University of Chicago, the first elite college to join this trend, just announced Thursday that it would no longer require undergraduate applicants to submit standardized test scores. According to Jim Nondorf, vice president and dean of admisssions, “Despite the fact that we would say testing is only one piece of the application, that’s the first thing a college asks you. We wanted to really take a look at all our requirements and make sure they were fair to every group, that everybody, anybody could aspire to a place like UChicago.” For more details, see this article.

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Changes for the 2018-2019 Admissions Season

Every year the admissions landscape shifts as colleges react to the past season and the changing practices of top colleges. There are a number of notable changes for this season, a few of which have been recently announced.

Washington University in St. Louis and the College of William and Mary are adding an Eary Decision II, following a growing number of schools beginning to offer this option. Not only does ED II help increase a school's yield, it also gives students more time to decide on their first choice and make their applications as competitive as possible.

Baylor will be adding Early Decision, and Penn State and Virginia Tech will be adding Early Action in the fall, giving students more options to choose from.

Wash U is adding a supplementary essay this year, making it more difficult for students who want to apply without doing any additional work. Now, they will need to demonstrate their interest by writing a dedicated essay for Wash U. See this article for more details.

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