What a time of flux in the world of multiple choice math, reading, and grammar! Just months after the College Board announced drastic revisions to the world’s oldest college admissions mega-test, their surging competitor in Iowa City let’s us know that we’ll be seeing some new numbers on the ACT score report
ACT, Inc. has long pegged scores in each section of the test to College Readiness Benchmarks, basically indicators of various levels of success in related entry-level college courses. Starting some unspecified time in 2015, the organization will provide additional readiness indicators to describe student performance and predicted readiness levels in various categories:
- STEM Score (overall performance on the science and math portions of the exam)
- English Language Arts Score (overall performance on the English, reading and writing portions of the exam)
- Progress Toward Career Readiness Indicator (a measure of progress toward career readiness)
- Text Complexity Progress Indicator (a measure of readiness for college and professional reading comprehension)
The first two additions are simply new ways to present existing data, but the other two indicators may offer useful new insights into readiness for future endeavors. In any case, there’s probably no need to worry about how these new scores will impact college admissions: historically, admissions offices take several years to track the predictive value of any changes to the SAT or ACT before integrating them into acceptance decisions.
While these changes may not be a big deal, other ones coming down the pike may be far more significant. Later this summer, ACT will release information (and sample prompts) regarding an Enhanced ACT Writing Test. 2016 will see even more new reporting categories aligned to Common Core State Standards. And most interesting of all is the slow but presumably steady expansion of computer-based administration of the ACT. The SAT may be undergoing more substantial structural changes, but the ACT isn’t remaining static in this time of transition. The next two years will be very interesting, maybe even a little too interesting, for college-bound high schoolers!