On June 5, 2014, a series of changes to the ACT unveiled that went into effect in 2015. Most of the changes to the test itself were relatively minor (and according to InsideHigherEd, ACT officials predicted that “a student taking the exam this year (under the current system) and next year (under the new one) might not notice the difference during the test itself”).
The biggest change? The addition of a new set of scores along with the existing score report. The ACT previously assessed students on a scale of 1-36 in each section–English, math, reading, and science–along with a composite score. Revised score reports now include “readiness indicators” as supplements to those scores. According to the ACT, these supplemental scores give students, parents, and educators “more detailed insights so that they may better plan for future success.”
The readiness indicators (from the ACT website) include:
This score represents the student’s overall performance on the science and math portions of the exam. The ACT is the only national college admission exam to measure science skills. This new score can help students connect their strengths to career and study paths that they might not otherwise have considered, particularly when used with their results from the ACT Interest Inventory.
Progress Toward Career Readiness Indicator:
This measure helps students understand their progress toward career readiness and help educators prepare their students for success in a variety of career pathways. It will provide an indicator of future performance on the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ (ACT NCRC®), an assessment-based credential that certifies foundational work skills important for job success across industries and occupations.
English Language Arts Score:
This score combines achievement on the English, reading, and writing portions of the ACT for those who take all three test sections, enabling students to see how their performance compares with others who have been identified as college-ready.
Text Complexity Progress Indicator:
This measure tells students if they are making sufficient progress toward understanding the complex texts they will encounter in college and during their careers. The information helps students plan future study to improve their readiness.
The changes to the ACT were announced only three months after the College Board announced major changes to the SAT to take effect in March 2016. The ACT announced that it will add even more reporting categories in 2016 to align with the Common Core State Standards domains and conceptual categories.
What does this mean for your student? The ACT views students as the primary beneficiaries of the new information that will become available: according to Wayne Camara, ACT senior vice president of research, the ACT is “simply expanding the information that they provide to give students a better, clearer map of the road to success.”
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Written by: Editorial Team, My Learning Springboard, Inc.