English, Math, Reading, Science, Writing (optional). Curriculum-based. University-ready test. (« Core curriculum » – 4 years Eng, 3 years of Maths, 3 years nat sci and 3 years social sciences)
English section – punctuation, grammar, rhetorical skills, not spelling, not vocabulary or grammar rules. 75 questions in 45 minutes.
Math section – 60 questions, 60 minutes – algebra, geometry, plane geometry, trigonometry – the latter being the differentiating questions.
Reading section – 40 questions, 35 minutes.
Science section – not curriculum based reasoning skills. Biology, Earth Sciences, Chemistry, Physics. Prior knowledge of science not required, though if you have a good science background you’ll feel more comfortable. 40 questions, 35 minutes.
Writing – optional. 1 prompt, 30 minutes. Issue – 2 points of view – student must write about their view on that issue.
Difference between SAT and ACT?
ACT – knowledge-based, SAT skills based. (reasoning). ACT has science, SAT doesn’t. ACT – maths goes to trigonometry, SAT to geometry. ACT – writing optional. SAT – writing obligatory.
Test dates – Sept, Oct, Dec, Apr, June.
Future developments –
- Still 1-36 score range
- Beginning Nov 2015 – STEM score, Eng score, Career readiness and Text complexity scores.
- Enhanced writing test – 4 domains (currently holistic)
- Computer-based delivery
Stem score – overall performance on the science and Math sections. Reporting change only. Predicts future performance on the ACT national Career Readiness Certificate. Eng-Lang Arts Score – combines Eng, Reading and Writing sections. Reporting change only.
Enhanced writing test – ideas, development, organisation, language use. 3 perspectives given in separate boxes and the student must respond to these. (Looks complicated!) Current version gives 2 perspectives, enhanced has 3 perspectives. State and develop your own perspective. Not huge changes!
Computer-based delivery – starts this coming April 2015 in US. Paper-pencil will remain option for a certain amount of time.
Other education programs – ACT Aspire. See http://www.discoveractaspire.org/assessments/