ACT To Enhance How Scores Reported?

Exam: Test Prep ACT Test - American College Testing: English, Math, Reading, Science, Writing


The American College Testing (ACT), the most well-known college readiness assessment test is the United States, is being enhanced to raise the standard of testing and make it more effective. ACT has always been updating the test to efficiently serve its objective of providing a platform for both students and universities in relation to college admissions. It aids the students in choosing the universities and also facilitates their application process by sending the test scores directly to the colleges chosen by them while registration. The ACT scores acts as a reliable source for colleges and universities and one of the important criteria in selection of the right students for the undergraduate programs offered by them.

In 2013, Act announced various improvisations in the test for the schools participating in the State and District testing program. The modifications planned to be started in full fledge from the year 2015 include computer-based test, constructed-response questions, additional question in the Reading Section and Mathematics sections. The introduction of the digital version of the test will not result in phase-out of the traditional testing format and the schools will have the option of following either of the testing formats depending on their administering ability. The Reading section will include additional questions to assess the ability of the students to integrate their knowledge and skills across multiple texts. The Mathematics section will have additional inclusion of questions from topics such as statistics and probability.

The constructed-response questions will be offered separately to the schools as an optional set of questions. These set of questions require the answer to be entered by the student than selecting from the given multiple options. The constructed-response questions are designed with the objective to supplement the multiple-choice questions sections. The section will be helpful for schools to get better insight on student’s knowledge and skills and allow them in better alignment of their reporting with the Common Core State Standards.

Enhancement in Score Reporting and Writing Section

Enhancing the test further, ACT has announced additional improvisation in the year 2014 in relation to reporting and the Writing Section of the test. Though the scores will be continued to be reported in the scale of 1-36, the new ACT test scores will include readiness indicators and scores to demonstrate the readiness and proficiency in significant areas that ensure the success in college and career. Aimed at providing comprehensive information on the students performance for better planning of future by the educators, parents and students themselves, the new readiness indicators and scores include:

English Language Art Score – This new score specifically developed for students who take up the optional Writing test and enable them to get a combined score of the English, Reading and Writing section of the test.

STEM Score – Being the only college admission test which assesses the skills and knowledge of the students in the science subject area. The STEM score will be a representation of the performance of a student in the science and maths section of the test.

Text Complexity Progress Indicator - This is an indicator to assess the ability and readiness of the students to understand the complexity of the texts in college and while pursuing a career.

Career Readiness Indicator – This indicator will be in the form of the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ (ACT NCRC) which is a credential based on assessment of the basic working skills of the student to succeed in a career across occupations in different industries. This credential will help the students determine their progress in their readiness for a pursuing a career and for educators to prepare them to boost their progress for a successful career in the future.

The enhancement in the Writing section of the test relates to development of a competency framework. The newly developed framework is based on comprehensive research and studies to develop an analytic scoring on the basis of four domains including language use, development and support, organisation and ideas and analysis. It is designed to evaluate the ability of a student to analyze a given issue through various perspectives and write a analytical answer demonstrating their knowledge, experience and reasoning skills. The detailed score, in addition to the overall Writing section score, would help the in providing comprehensive information for the universities of the student’s readiness for college and career in terms of his writing ability. However, the Writing section score will not be included in the composite score as it is an optional section in the ACT test.

Improvisation Plans in the year 2016

In the year 2016, ACT is planning to add new reporting categories as a breakdown in every section of the test. This expansion in the number of categories would provide better understanding for the educators, parents and students themselves about subject specific strengths and weakness of the student. Based on the College Readiness Standards of ACT, the enhanced reporting categories would help in aligning the test with the Common Core State Standards in a better way.

With the constant efforts to improvise the test to maintain the reliability of the test and keep in pace with the latest developments, Act continues to be the most trusted test for assessing the readiness of students for college. The pilot program of administering the computer based testing with participation of around 4,000 students across the United States in April 2014 was successful with positive feedback from the testing centres. The digital version of the test has improved the engagement with students and expanded the student’s access to colleges. ACT is, thus, continuing to enhance the test by providing more information and personalised insights for better clarity for students in their path of success.


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