Important ACT & SAT Exam Changes

By Arkansas NEXT on Friday, September 25, 2020

The ACT and the College Board, which administers the SAT, had to cancel exams earlier this year, but testing reopened in the summer and will continue into the fall. Schools use standardized test scores to determine financial aid and scholarship eligibility, as well as admission requirements. But in a time where students can’t actually take those tests before they start college in the fall, schools around the country are not requiring those scores for the time being. Arkansas schools that are participating in that trend include Southern Arkansas University. The school is waiving testing requirements for applicants with high school GPAs of 2.3 or above for the 2020 school year.

According to FairTest, other Arkansas colleges that are “test optional,” “test flexible” or otherwise de-emphasize the use of standardized tests by making admissions decisions without using ACT or SAT scores for all or many applicants who recently graduated from U.S. high schools include: Arkansas Baptist College, Arkansas Tech University, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, University of Arkansas at Monticello, University of Central Arkansas and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

“Almost all of the Arkansas community colleges have open admission, meaning there is no GPA or ACT score requirement for admission,” says Alisha Lewis, associate director of communications of the Arkansas Division of Higher Education. “Some universities also have open admission, while some use a combination of other criteria for admission.”


The ACT also announced new options for students taking the test that took effect in September. Those changes include the option to “super score,” which means you can take the average of your four best subject scores from each ACT test attempt, and it will count as your official score. Students will also be able to re-take specific test sections that they want to improve, without having to take the full test.

Keep On Your Radar
SAT dates
Sept. 26
Oct. 3
Nov. 7
Dec. 5


March 13
May 8
ACT dates
Oct. 10
Oct. 17
Oct. 24
Oct. 25
Dec. 12

Feb. 6
April 17