Changes in the ACT

New+ACT+rules+will+allow+for+students+to+retake+individual+sections+of+the+test+rather+than+the+entire+test.
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Changes in the ACT

New ACT rules will allow for students to retake individual sections of the test rather than the entire test.

New ACT rules will allow for students to retake individual sections of the test rather than the entire test.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

New ACT rules will allow for students to retake individual sections of the test rather than the entire test.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

New ACT rules will allow for students to retake individual sections of the test rather than the entire test.

Audrey Heidbreder

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Starting next September, the ACT will allow high schoolers to retake individual sections. The ACT is a 3 hour test with 5 separate sections: English, math, reading, science, and the optional writing section.

Many students have their strong subjects and ones that give them more difficulty, so many believe it will be a large source of comfort in the rigorous studying process to know that they can retake only individual sections to improve their score. This change will also allow students to avoid getting a bad grade on a retake than they did originally.

The ACT test is graded out of 36 and a students score is averaged out of all 4 or 5 individual sections. This method of grading causes one bad section to bring down the entire score and hides the sections a student did well on. 

Universities have been shifting away from standardized test scores, but some parents now worry that the ability to retake only one section will make the standardized testing atmosphere even more competitive given the high opportunity to eventually get a perfect score on every section. This would drive the need for a tutor and the unfairness behind it even higher.

At SHS, where the competitive atmosphere can be very stressful for students, it is not yet sure how these new changes will affect future test takers. The question now is whether the ability to retake specific sections will ease students minds because they know they don’t have to be successful in every section every time they take the test, or will cause even more stress because now students will be pushed to be perfect, no matter how many attempts it takes.