This past April, the College Board announced some rather significant modifications coming to the SAT beginning the October, 2015 followed by the PSAT and ultimately the March, 2016 SAT. ACT just announced some changes as well – mostly an enhancement of the scoring. The 1-36 score for each section (and composite) will remain; however, new score breakdowns and indicators will be added to improve readiness and help students plan for the future. Also, modified will be the optional essay which will better reveal a student’s analytical writing ability.
The new score breakdowns will describe student performance and predicted readiness in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – as well as career readiness, English language arts and text complexity. These indicators will provide students with a more specific understanding of their high school preparation as well as success after high school.
The optional Writing test will offer more insights to help students become more college and career ready in that it will be evaluated on four purviews of writing: ideas/analysis, development/support, organization and language use. Students will be asked to evaluate several perspectives on an issue and create their own analysis based on experience, knowledge and reasoning.
The specific readiness score indicators are:
- The STEM score will indicate the student’s overall performance in the science and math sections. It will give students a better idea of how their strengths connect to study and career paths.
- Progress Toward Career Readiness measure will aid students in understanding their progress toward career readiness as well as help educators prepare their students for a variety of career opportunities.
- The English Language Arts Score combines achievement on the English, writing and and reading sections. It will enable students to see how their performance compares with their college-ready peers.
- The Text-Complexity Progress Indicator will reveal to students whether they are progressing toward an understanding of the more complex college-type and career level reading.
As Wayne Camara, ACT senior vice president of research stated. “The ACT will continue to be the tried-and-true achievement exam that students, colleges and states have trusted for more than 50 years. We are simply expanding the information that we provide to give students a better, clearer map of the road to success. Our ongoing goal is to offer a wider range of relevant, personalized insights to each test-taker.”