Could ACT’s New Retake Policy Further Advantage Wealthy Students?

Shayleigh Frank
News Staff Writer

The ACT announced that test takers will be able to retake the college admissions test one section at a time as opposed to in its entirety. Cover photo courtesy of Flickr 

Will wealthy students have a new advantage in college admissions?

The company behind the ACT announced students will be able to retake individual sections of the college admissions test, as opposed to retaking the test in its entirety. In practice, this means test takers trying to improve their scores can retake one section without risk of lowering their scores in another section.

Here’s why some people are worried.

Taking the ACT or the SAT is required for most college applications, including the University of Dayton. Both exams have fees to take each test, which has caused some to say this policy could disproportionately benefit wealthier students.

The cofounder of test-prep firm Compass Education Group, Adam Ingersoll, said these changes to the ACT “privilege the privileged” because privileged groups have more resources to pay for retakes.

The new retakes also may have an effect on score inflation. If this retake policy improves score averages, this could create a demand for higher scores from college applicants, which could bring additional stress to students.

Will this retake policy disproportionately benefit “privileged” students? Or, are these changes for the betterment of all students?

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