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The Office of Public Instruction and Montana University System announced today that Montana juniors will have the opportunity to take the ACT free of charge this coming fall semester of their senior year. Normally, current juniors would take the ACT in the spring as Montana’s statewide standardized test for federal accountability. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and Montana’s pending waiver request from standardized tests, it is likely that juniors will not be taking the ACT this spring.

“In this time of uncertainty, Montana students, families, and educators should be focused on their health and safety not fulfilling standardized test requirements,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen said Tuesday. “I am pleased that Montana high school students who wish to take the ACT in pursuit of post-secondary education will have the opportunity to take it free of charge this fall.”

The ACT has been Montana’s state standardized exam for high school students since 2016 for federal accountability purposes. It also serves as an important entry requirement for colleges and universities.

“The Montana University System provides all high school juniors the opportunity to take the ACT so that all are able to apply for college and that’s even more important in these challenging times,” said Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton T. Christian. “Rather than allowing the test to be canceled, my office worked directly with the ACT organization to reschedule the exam for this fall. Students who wish to take the test over the summer may do so, but must cover their test fees and make their own travel arrangements to visit a test center. By rescheduling the test to a regular school day in October, we’ve made sure that travel and cost are not a barrier. This is a critical part of our mission to provide all Montanans the opportunity to pursue education after high school.”

The ACT is administered by the OPI and funded through a grant from the Montana University System. Schools will have the ability to administer the ACT on October 6th (initial), October 20th (makeup), and November 3rd (emergency). More information on assessments can be found on the OPI’s website.

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