New ACT retakes available 2020

Students express mixed reviews about the options

Photo by Viggo Jabon

Claudia Millwater and Adam Perez

On Oct. 8, officials announced a major change to the ACT. Starting next September, students will be able to retake individual sections of the test.

This standardized test is broken up into five different sections: Reading, English, Math, Science and an optional essay. The 4 required sections are averaged together from 1-36 to receive a composite score.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the recent change. Some feel that this new retake option gives an advantage to students from higher-income backgrounds, believing that they will be able to retake individual sections multiple times because they can afford it.

However, Suzana Delanghe, the Chief Commercial Officer of the ACT, explained in an interview with CNN that, “the single-section retake will be less expensive than taking the complete ACT again, so that should help make retesting more affordable for many students.”

In addition to cost, many people fear that students who take the ACT will have an unfair advantage compared to those taking the SAT. “Colleges need to make it fair so people who took the ACT do not have a competitive advantage for admission into schools over students who [only] took the SAT and do not have this option,” explained junior Spencer Harding.

Other WHS students likewise have negative opinions about the recent changes. Senior Michael Bazarsky who took the ACT last year explained, “This defeats the purpose of taking a standardized test. A huge portion of the test is being able to battle fatigue and take it all at once. People will only study individual sections because they know that they can retake the others. It’s completely unfair.”

Others who have not taken a standardized test yet, now feel that the ACT is a favorable option over the SAT. “I think the ability to retake portions of the ACT will make it more appealing,” said junior Will Fiorentino, “because your score will be a better representation of your true intelligence, not of how well you were able to perform in a couple of hours.”

Gordon Chiu, a tutor from BreakAway Prep in NJ, also feels that the change will benefit the students. “It is an absolutely wonderful change since there will be a way for students who took it once to then select sectionally where to focus,” Chiu said. “The distraction [of other sections] would be removed and allow you to do better. The goal is for students to learn more, fix content and confidence before college. The newly published rules definitely showcase a positive change. I am 100 percent in favor of this.”

Colleges have not yet responded to the changes and how it will affect the admissions process. There is a possibility that certain schools may not accept the retake option or even devalue higher scores compared to the SAT, but we will just have to wait and see.