ACT Section Retesting Is Off

ACT, Inc. got a lot of publicity, including in The New York Times, back in 2019 for their planned rollout of section re-testing. It was not to be.

Back in late 2019, a time that seems like eons ago, ACT, Inc., the maker of the ACT, announced that they would be unveiling individual section retesting of the exam. As the organization released to the public back then, beginning in September 2020, test-takers would have the option of retaking only certain sections of the exam. This way, if they did well on other sections on a previous administration, they wouldn’t have to re-take those and risk lowering their already high scores. It seemed like a good thing at the time as it would likely reduce stress on students. And, of course, as we opined when the announcement was first made, it would serve ACT, Inc.’s bottom line. But since this announcement, the world has endured a pandemic and universities across the land have transitioned to test-optional. So will ACT, Inc. ever roll out their section re-testing plan?

Well, not for the 2021-2022 academic year at least. ACT., Inc.’s National Director, Higher Education Kenton Pauls recently wrote on a NACAC email exchange, “After extensive consideration of how best to serve all learners, ACT will not be rolling out section retesting in the 2021-2022 school year. We plan to use insights from our efforts to offer this feature as we enhance and innovate new product offerings. Though there are merits to this enhancement, we have renewed our commitment to provide students with as many opportunities as possible to take the full ACT test. COVID-19 solidified our commitment to be intentional and deliberate to ensure a bright future for ACT and the many stakeholders we serve. This decision supports those efforts.”

So there you have it. It seems ACT, Inc. has no plans whatsoever of ever rolling out section re-testing. So the organization’s PR announcement back in late 2019 was, as it turns out, much ado about nothing. And it does seem odd to us that their PR spin would imply their prior announcement of rolling out section re-testing was unintentional and not deliberate. If so, what exactly was the organization thinking? Word of advice to ACT, Inc.: going forward, hold a beat on the fancy announcements until you’re sure how you wish to proceed.

 
 

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