• Sorina Larsen

The act of redemption: Testing agency renovates policy

Taking the ACT is arguably one of the worst experiences for a high school student; students wake up early after a long night of studying, sit through three hours of scribbling down answers and then weeks later they get their score- but then comes the possibility of retaking the whole entire thing because of one section they did poorly on.

Although, this year ACT policies are changing: the ACT is now allowing students to retake sections instead of the whole test, according to act.org. The ACT will continue to have the same sign up, but students can choose to take it on paper or online, and this will start in the fall of 2020.

Retaking certain parts of the ACT rather than the entire test makes me feel much more relaxed with the overall test taking process, and I would much rather prefer preparing for one section than four. People argue that these changes will cause colleges to have higher expectations for scores, but nevertheless this is still far more beneficial.

Retaking sections of this test will make studying for the test a much easier process, which will ultimately lead to a better score. Instead of having to study for hours on end for all four sections, students may only have to study for one or two, and they can focus all their time on that.

Retaking sections is wiser financially too. According to usatoday.com, the ACT requires a fee in order for someone to take it. If people are getting better scores, then the frequency of taking it will be less; this is especially important because students might have to pay for the SAT and PSAT as well.

According to act.org, the ACT will now use something known as “super scoring” where they allow students to send in their highest scores accumulated from every test taken. If retaking sections also increases scores, then this will also help a lot.

The changes made to the test will also reduce stress in students. High school is already notorious for causing stress, and the ACT doesn’t help. However, if students can retake sections then they won’t have to worry about improving their score for the entire test, which would reduce their stress.

In addition to stress, the ACT also allows students to choose between taking it online or on paper. This allows students to do what they are most comfortable with and this will decrease more stress and anxiety.

Taking only one part of the test will also keep people more awake throughout the test. By the time students get to the later sections, they are already burnt out and don’t want to continue. But if they’re only taking one then they will have more energy.

Section retesting will also show students’ abilities greater. When people take the whole test, it is very difficult to concentrate because everyone is rushing to get it done, but this change will allow the test to have people relax and show their full potential.

Even though people say that colleges will have higher expectations because of section retesting, this is not completely true. Colleges will see people’s maxed-out performance on a certain subject rather than partial work put in, and that will matter more.

Section retesting will also not affect how hard the test is; it will be the same level of difficulty no matter who takes it. This is extremely beneficial because this doesn’t add any other pressure to the already stressful test.

The changes made to the ACT will also improve the score of students’ SAT, PSAT and overall scores in school. If people only have to retake certain parts of the test, then students have more time to study for other things like the SAT and PSAT, other college entrance exams and it will ultimately create more time for students to focus on other academics.

The ACT changes that are being made might be intimidating, but in the end, this will cause much more positive results than negative. Study for certain sections rather than the whole test and get better scores: it’s that simple.

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