What is the ACT test? University of Iowa professor, Everett Franklin Lindquist, launched the ACT test in 1959. The ACT test was originally conceived as a competitor to the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test, later called the Scholastic Assessment Test), which has been offered since 1901.
The ACT testing was created in response to changing patterns in college attendance in the United States and a desire for an exam that more accurately judges the ability of a student to perform well in college or university. The ACT, which is a non-profit organization, is still based in Iowa City.
The ACT was dubbed American College Testing when Lindquist founded the company, but the company changed its moniker several years ago. The company is called ACT – pronouncing the three letters, A. C. T. The ACT has also expanded their company to include career preparation, adult education, as well as other services.
The first ACT test was in the form: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Natural Sciences, and was administered to 75,460 test-takers. The first ACT test lasted 3 hours, with 45 minutes given to each of the four test sections. The ACT test has scores devoted to each test sections on a scale of 0 to 36 (but today it is 1 to 36) and a composite score of the four sections.
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The Addition of Essay Section
In 1989, ACT replaced the Natural Sciences test to a Science Reasoning section and changed the Social Studies test with a Reading section. Also, ACT added the optional Writing section to the test in 2005. The decision of the College Board to add an essay section on the SAT likely prompted the addition of ACT’s optional Writing section.
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2009 Profile Report of ACT Test
According to the Profile Report of ACT in 2009, the non- profit organization administered the ACT test to 45 percent of the 2009 high school graduating class, which is over 1.4 million students. Also, several states, which include Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Colorado, administer the ACT test to high school juniors as part of their mandatory state tests.
All four-year colleges and universities in the United States now accept the students’ ACT scores, making the test an appealing alternative for students who struggle with the SAT test. In 2010, the number of test-takers taking the ACT test surpassed the number of SAT test-takers for the first time.
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In May 2013, ACT made it known that a computer-based version of their test will be made available – kicked off in the spring of 2015 for institutions that administer the ACT test during the school day. The new version of the ACT test will retain the same content as the test’s paper version, which still endures until today.
The computer test version of the ACT, to be administered through the Internet, will optionally include test questions requiring the test-taker to generate his own answers, along with the typical multiple-choice questions.
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Writing Section’s New Format
In 2015, ACT slightly changed the format of the Writing section. Test-takers are now given 40 minutes to write an essay, and this section is scored out of 36 rather than out of 12. Writing section contains prompts that determine how test-takers interpret huge changes that are happening in the world, kicking off the essay to a broader focal point than previous prompts that emphasized on issues particularly related to high school.
The popularity of the ACT testing increased across the Midwestern states, while SAT still grasps both coasts, which include highly populated states like California and New York. Nonetheless, in the 21st century, the ACT test started to acquire a larger percentage of the testing market, and ACT testing is expanding out of its typical areas of influence.
Possible reasons for this include incidents of SAT’s scoring errors, a growing dissatisfaction with the SAT’s testing method, and a growing number of colleges or universities accepting the ACT test. The ACT has successfully influenced a number of states into requiring their test for all high school seniors.
In February 2017, ACT announced the first summer test date, which will take place in July 2018. The new ACT test date boosts the number of United States national administrations of the ACT testing from six to seven.
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