ACT to allow retakes for individual sections

Beginning fall of 2020, students can retake single sections for a fee


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Many New Trier students spend thousands of dollars on tutors, prep books, and multiple ACT sittings

Next September, students who want to improve their ACT scores will be able to retake a single section without having to repeat the whole test. 

This will allow students to focus on one section without having to worry about their scores on other sections going down. If students do well on three out of the four sections, then they can choose to take the one section again to essentially maximize their ACT score. 

According to the Washington Post, ACT chief commercial officer Suzana Delanghe said that the company is “simply offering new ways to take the ACT, saving students time and giving them the ability to focus only on subject areas needing improvement.”

Post high school counselor, Kirsten Graf was interested to see if universities even accept the scores from individual sections. 

“I think that there are multiple ways to look at it. The change can be positive as it provides students with an additional opportunity to improve their scores. The ability to study and focus on just one portion of the test will benefit students, but the challenge will be how universities respond, and whether or not they are willing to accept the new scores at all,” said Graf.

Some students agreed that focusing on one section would help them to feel less stressed about the testing process. 

Sophomore Maria Pinos said, “I think that that sounds like a good idea because it will probably give kids less anxiety going into the test.”

ACT does not think that its new policies will compromise the test and its scores. Many students, however, disagree,  arguing that the change will essentially superscore the test without technically doing so.

“I think that that’s just going to raise the ACT average by so much that it’s not going to be worth it. A lot of people will max out at 36. Letting you focus on one section at a time will make scores way better,” said senior Bobby Becker.

In order to avoid this, ACT might need to change its grading policy to account for the change. 

Junior Max Russo said, “I think it will make the test easier, but it will raise the standards of the scores. They might need to change the way they grade the tests. I think it will make it easier in the short run, but in the long run, everyone’s test scores are going to go up, which might become a problem as far as grading.”

Some upperclassmen were indifferent to the change. 

 “It’s kind of funny to me because the whole thing is just a scam now. You pay to take a test to go to a school that you’re going to pay for. I’m not pissed about it though because I already took the ACT, and I only took the ACT once. It was never an important part of my application process,” said senior Isabella Wojewski.

Other upperclassmen who have already taken the ACT without the new changes found the change to be inequitable. Because the new change has the possibility to increase the average ACT scores, students worried about their scores being compared to underclassmen’s scores. 

“It’s so unfair because everyone in the past has had to take the whole ACT and now, all of the sudden, the juniors are allowed to take each individual section, so they can ultimately get a better ACT score,” said senior Sofia Simon.

Senior Rachel Ashman added that it might be beneficial to just eliminate all standardized testing.

“The change is unfair to the people in the past and it will only make it more competitive. They should get rid of the test altogether,” said Ashman.