Retaking sections of ACT (FOR)


When I was a kid, I dreamed of being able to go to college. I would often imagine myself packing my favorite things into big brown boxes and stuffing them into the backseat of a car I didn’t own yet. Then, I’d drive away as my mom waved goodbye to me from our front porch.
This dream followed me to high school where I spent the next four years trying my best at every subject. Yet, I never seemed to be able to get the hang of math. I struggled and almost always ended the six weeks with a C on my report card.
As junior year approached, the importance of the ACT loomed over my head like a rain cloud. It didn’t help that every teacher taught us that this single test was our only ticket—was my only ticket—to a good college.
I was worried about what score I would get in the math section, so I began preparing months in advance.
I completed every ACT practice workbook I could get my hands on. I watched YouTube videos of overachievers giving their test-taking tips. I took practice ACT quizzes online.
I made every effort possible and studied as hard as I could and still scored poorly on the math section.
I remember wishing there was a way to only retake the one section I messed up on, but in 2016, that wasn’t option.
However, it seems that my wish has been granted a few years too late. According to the Washington Post, students will be able to retake single sections of the ACT instead of the entire test, starting in 2020.
I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking it too. Our first reaction is to think “This just isn’t fair,” because we had to either deal with our scores or retake the entire test. And you’re right, it isn’t.
But who ever said anything in life was fair? Why should people continue to suffer just because we did? We should be happy for the younger generation who gets to take more control over their futures with this ability.
I refuse to be bitter over this amendment of the ACT, because I remember what it felt like to see that low score next to all the high ones. I remember thinking “What if when I retake the ACT, I get a lower score in the sections I previously did well in?”
I had to choose between keeping a composite score I was not satisfied with or risking ruining it even more.
Now that I’ve gotten to college, I know that the ACT holds less importance than I was taught to believe. However, it is still important.
Colleges do still consider your ACT when reviewing your college application. That’s why high school students stress so much over their scores and end up spending hundreds of dollars to improve them. It takes up so much time, energy and money to bump up your score a couple points.
I am glad that students will be able to get the chance to fix sections they do poorly in. After their first round of ACT testing, now they can see the problems they have and study just for those sections. Then, when the student is ready they can retake the test all while keeping the scores they were already happy with.