The ACT organization recently announced a significant change in their testing format. Starting next September, students will be able to retake specific sections of the ACT. This change is unfair to multiple groups for a variety of reasons.
Students in the future will be able to achieve much higher scores than their predecessors, purely because of this change. As of now, if a student wants to retake a section, they must take the entire test. Obviously, studying for and taking a single section is easier than studying for and taking the whole test. Additionally, these single subject retakes will count at many colleges that don’t currently accept full-length retakes (superscoring).
With these factors considered, future students will almost definitely perform much better thanks to this change, and the ACT as a whole will lose its value.
When future students start retaking single subjects over and over, scores will only continue to improve. As the overall performance on the ACT rises, the value of the ACT will decrease; if all students start receiving high 30s, colleges will no longer rely on this test as a method of determining the capacity of students.
This new option is also unfair because current and previous students did not have this opportunity. It is true that these students won’t have to directly compete against future students for college entrance. However, if current students ever need to utilize their ACT scores after being admitted into college (scholarships for example), future students with this single subject retest option will have an advantage thanks to their extra opportunity.
Finally, adding this additional retesting option will encourage future students to spend even more money on the ACT. The ability to test on a single subject is a very enticing prospect since it rightfully seems easier. Unfortunately, the ACT is already pricey as it is; paying for retest after retest can add up into quite a steep price. Students that eventually can’t afford retesting will end up inevitably falling behind those who can.
The new single subject retest is unfair and unreasonable for a variety of reasons. It will make the test much easier in the future compared to how it is currently. It will decrease the value of the ACT towards colleges. Finally, it will encourage people to spend more money on the already expensive test, which some people might find difficult.
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