Starting next September, high schooler could retake ACT individual sections, instead of the entire exam.
Officials at ACT said on Oct. 8 that starting next September, students who want to improve their scores would be able to retake single sections of the five-part test, including reading, math, science, English and optional writing, which lasts about three hours, instead of sitting for all of them again. The change would allow students to avoid getting worse marks on sections they had taken earlier and students will get a new “superscore” that combines their highest scores on the subsections from each time they took the test.
There’s already discussion about whether this change eases students’ anxiety or further disadvantages students without access to extra test-prep resource/ coaching.
However, one thing is for sure—College Board, owner of SAT, the other dominant of this game, would have to come up with some similar changes in reaction to this new policy of ACT.
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Now, there are more than 1000 universities in the US have adapted this “test-optional” policy and you can have the full list from Fair Test’s website. https://www.fairtest.org/university/optional
However, when you look into the details, there are different situations that fits different applicants.
1. No SAT/ACT at all for all students – such as Pitzer College (except homeschooled, Joint Medical Program applicants, and students attending schools from which grades are not provided.)
2. No SAT/ACT for US or Canadian citizens, still required for international students. – such as Brandeis University
3. Applicants can choose to submit different test results such as SAT, ACT, 3 AP test results, or 3 SAT II Subject Test results. However, this might also come with additional requirements. For example, the University of Chicago requires at least 1 of these SAT subjects has to be math or science, and 1 be English, Social Science, Arts or World Languages. As for AP exams, they need to be at least one in Math, Computer Science, or Science and at least one in English, History, or Language..
University of California system is the most popular college system in the US with nearly or over 100,000 applicants to its top 3 campuses (LA, SD and Berkeley), and the single largest university source of customers for the College Board. Test-optional is not an easy decision to make. It’s highly doubtful that UC will go with no requirement for all applicants, but set up new application rules. So, here comes a more important question, “what’s the fairer alternative(s) of SAT and ACT as admission requirements, free from family income, parents’ education, or even race?”
Freshman or transfer? International students vs. California residents (in-state), vs. non-California residents (out-state)
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