During the junior year of high school, most students take the SAT and ACT standardized tests. These long four-hour tests define the next chapter of life for many students, and this causes a lot of stress and concern. However, there’s good news for future ACT test-takers because starting September of 2020, students will be able to retake specific sections of the test.
The standard ACT test has four sections: reading, math, science and English, with an optional writing section. The reading, math, science and English scores are averaged out to get a composite score out of 36. However, some student’s composite scores might not be reflected well since their score is weighed down by a poor individual score from one of the sections. According to ACT spokesman, Ed Colby, students might think “Why do I have to sit through and take all these tests again if I only need to improve my math score?” Well, this new retake policy might change revolutionize things for the better.
But how will these changes affect high schoolers?
Junior Zach Barraza believes that the new change to the ACT is helpful and fair to the students. “This change could help improve test scores if you weren’t able to finish in the allotted time,” comments Barraza. “You’re able to complete the parts that you would not ordinarily complete during the regular test; it is only fair if the chance is given to everyone, and it is, which makes it appropriate for ACT testing.”
However, junior Katie Urquhart offers one concern regarding the change. “I [think] it is kind of unfair to the class of 2020 because I have a lot of friends that are seniors and they don’t have the opportunity to retake those sections to boost their scores,” she says. “However, I do like that after I take my ACT, I will have the option to do that in the coming September. I do think that this makes it [fairer].”
Contrary to what Urquhart stated, senior Clara Yi thinks that the change is interesting and wants to know how the changes will play out in the future. “ I don’t believe it’s unfair especially since I’m competing with my own grade level but I think it’s interesting overall,” she explains.
In a survey conducted at Beckman High School, the results show that most freshmen and sophomores did were not as polarized as expected. For the current juniors and seniors, 61% of the Juniors and 43% of the seniors believed that it was fair for these changes. Overall, 55.4% of the students believe that the changes are fair.
From a personal point of view, thinking about the ACT is stressful. I mentioned above that tests like the ACT and the SAT are deciding factors on the next chapter of life for many students. There is a lot of pressure and stress, and the fear of failure always looms nearby. However, the news that future students like me can now retake sections that they did badly in, instead of retaking the whole test, could shine a little bit of light on their world. But while the ACT and SAT are important, it’s important to understand that the ACT and SAT don’t define a student.
With the new changes, students will hopefully be able to alleviate some of the stresses of high school because they have a chance to improve their score without retaking a complete test. Whether these changes are positive or negative, we will have to look at the statistics in the future.