New ACT policy endangers


Anne Wang, Staff editor

Oct. 8, 2019, the ACT announced a new change to their testing policy: beginning in fall 2020, students will be able to retake individual sections of the ACT where they performed poorly for a fee. This contrasts with the previous policy where students were required to retake the entire exam to improve their score. The change is intended to benefit students by sparing them from unnecessary testing time, especially on sections they do not need improvement in.

For many students, this comes as a relief to reduce the stress of studying all sections at once to prepare for future retakes.

Senior Chansoo Park, who took both the ACT and SAT, recognizes the advantages of the new policy.

“I think it’s beneficial for students. Because the ACT is such a long test, sometimes the scores begin to drop not because of a lack of knowledge but because of fatigue. This gives students the opportunity to redo a section if that was the case,” said Park.

However, SAT tutor Henry McVeigh believes that the new policy also has many downfalls that could impact how students adapt to testing in the future.

“I think [that] part of these tests in general is the [push for] generalized successful students and adaptiveness and flexibility. If we allow greater and greater specificity, then we are de-emphasizing flexibility. So, I think it comes at a little bit of a cost, but if it helps to reduce widespread anxiety, then maybe it’s for the better,” said McVeigh.

Even with this new rule, there are mixed opinions on whether more students will prefer ACT over the SAT.

“I think it’s hard to get out of the entrenched, kind of automatic assumption that you’re going to take the SAT, while the ACT is still a lot more optional to a lot of people,” said McVeigh.

Junior Joelle Szumski believes that people automatically assume that students will take the SAT, especially at Dulaney.

“Dulaney clearly favors the SAT over the ACT by offering a school-wide SAT day. I think more people are still going to take the SAT, especially here,” said Szumski.

“Absolutely students will prefer the ACT over the SAT. I honestly think that if more people encouraged students to take the ACT rather than the SAT more students would find success,” said Park.

However, students may find more success with the new ACT testing policy, which could potentially lead toto inflated ACT test scores.

“More people would have higher standardized test scores, which is good for students, but may be more difficult for colleges to eliminate potential students” said Park.

While the policy change can benefit students, there are also downfalls due to inflated scores. Whether the policy will stay remains a question for the future.