Over the past few years the ACT has been growing in popularity. In 2012 for the first time ever, more students took the ACT than the SAT. For students planning to take the ACT there are a few changes that they should be aware of. These changes represent an effort by the organization to remain relevant to both college and career bound high school seniors. These changes are slated to take effect in 2015.
Clearer Score Reporting
Each of the ACT’s four sections receives a score between 1-36, these scores are then averaged to arrive at a composite score. This will not change. In 2015 test takers will receive the following additional readiness scores and indicators:
STEM Score: The ACT is the only national college admissions test that measures science aptitude. This score will represent student performance on the science and math sections of the test.
Progress Toward Career Readiness Indicator: For students who may be going straight into a career post-college, this indicator measures career readiness. It will provide a sense of how students will perform on the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate. The NCRC is used to certify that an individual has the foundational work skills needed for work success across industries and occupations.
English Language Arts Score: Students who complete the ACT essay receive an English language arts score. This score is an assessment of student performance on the English, reading, and writing sections of the ACT.
Text Complexity Progress Indicator: This indicator allows students to assess their ability to understand the complex texts that will be presented to them in college.
Optional Constructed-Response Questions
Schools will have the option of having their students answer an additional set of open-response questions. Answers to these questions will be used to link student performance to Common Core state standards.
In April 2014, four thousand students took the ACT online. In 2015 the digital version of the ACT will be offered at all schools that participate in state and district testing.
Enhanced ACT Writing Test
In 2015 the ACTs writing subsection will change its focus and scoring. Students will receive a score for each of the following characteristics: ideas and analysis, development and support, organization, and language use. In order to get a high score students will have to demonstrate an, “ability to evaluate multiple perspectives on a complex issue and generate an analysis based on reasoning, knowledge, and experience”.