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The IEEE 802.11 standards support multiple bit rates at the physical layer so that stations can maximize the system performance by controlling the transmission rate responding to the conditions of underlying time-varying channels. This paper proposes a novel scheme, termed as rate adaptation using rate-adaptive acknowledgment (RARA). The key idea of RARA is to regulate the ACK transmission rate as a means to dictate the sender to adjust the data transmission rate. Compared with previous works, the proposed scheme can react quickly to the prevailing conditions by the receiver-based decision while inducing marginal overhead. Simulation results show that the RARA consistently outperforms other rate adaption schemes.