ACT Section Retakes


Pamina Yung, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, ACT stated that starting from September 2020, high school students who take the ACT test will be allowed to retake the individual sections they want to get a better score. Taking the ACT costs $68 which includes the optional essay portion while it costs $52 without it. The test consists of multiple-choice questions that test students on English, math, reading, and science. The entire test takes about three hours plus forty more minutes if the essay section is being taken. Although a price has not been decided for an individual section, next year’s new policy many students time and money. However, according to The New York Times, “if the change encourages more students to retake portions of the exam, it may ultimately increase revenue for the organization.” 

Section retakers will receive a “superscore” which combines all of their highest scores for each section from all the times they took the test. The permission to repeat certain sections also eliminates the risk of getting a lower score on a section that one previously got a good score on. If students want to take this route and submit a superscore into their college admissions, they must include multiple test results. It is currently undetermined whether or not college admission teams will judge superscores differently from scores from only one test. 

Along with the option of a superscore, students who take the exam on Saturdays can take the ACT entirely online. By taking the ACT online, test results will come back in as few as two business days, while it takes around three weeks doing the pencil-paper method. By avoiding using something tangible such as paper, it is impossible for your test to be physically lost or stolen.

Freshman Allison Chu said that she thinks “it is time-efficient for the proctor and for the students, and benefits the students.” She relates ACT’s new upcoming policy to taking the practice ACT test. Allison started to feel sick on the day of the practice exam and began to run out of energy by the time she reached the math section. From her past experience, Allison believes that the new rule “is a good way for students to be able to reflect and improve on what they have struggled on.”

“It should have been done years ago,” said Mrs. Liza Tedford, who teaches Beginning and Intermediate Dance at AHS. “Of course the first time you take the test, you take the whole thing, but you don’t have three to four hour exams even in college, so why have them in high school and make students retake the whole thing?” She thinks that the same guidelines should be enforced for the SAT. When her son was in high school, he performed well on the SAT but only needed to improve his score on the math section. Mrs. Tedford said that if next year’s ACT policy had been made for the SAT during the time her son took the test, his score would have been better.