ACT Update – November 2014

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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 

Concord University, West Virginia

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No Chinese no fencing. Typical US sports.  GOLF SCHOLARSHIPS.  NCAA Division 2 for everything. Last year – more snow than Alaska.

Full tuition scholarships for NCAA Div 2 – lots of athletes tend to pursue sports management or athletic training.

W Virginia – very mountainous.  Rural location.  4 seasons.  Southern hospitality. Ski resort nearby.  3k students.

IB scholarships available.  SAT required but scores only used to place students in

875 in Critical Reading and Math.  ACT testing site.

100 international students.  UK and Nigeria.  Brazil and Nepal.

MAIN MAJORS – Education, Social Work, Pre-Med, Computer Science, Business.

Ski area management.  Golf course management.  Geosciences.  Radio station and TV station.

Greek life, study abroad, White House internships.  Student support.  Learning support.

Quieter area – lots of opportunities for internship and jobs at the local tv stations.

IF IB, NO ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT.  Honours points given for Standard Level subjects – scholarships range from $3k to 6k.

Leadership scholarship 12k – tuition 14k.


CU 1 Sheet

University South Florida at Florimont

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Vist by Anne Mockensturm

NCA Division 1 – cross country, football, tennis, soccer, track and field, basketball, women’s volleyball.

Hockey – club hockey time.

Global research university. Required to live on campus 1st year.  Different kinds of housing.

Most classes had 20-30 students.

Many resources on campus – residence systems – international student services office.  Counselling, writing lab, tutoring centre.

Wakeboarding club.  30 minutes from beach.  Great climate. Greek life.  Common interest group.  Chocolate group!  Whatever you can think of…Club cricket champions.  Intra-murals – students v students within the university.

Very IB-friendly. Good writing and critical-thinking skills.  SAT or ACT.  OWN APPLICATION SYSTEM – NOT ON COMMON APP.  They do super-scoring.

No SAT subject tests required.

Scholarships – they calculate a GPA score.

You can apply for particular tracks – vague direction you wish to go.

Scholarships office – NCAA.

Opportunity to do research.  Anne’s sister – 1st semester – assistantship to a professor – helped co-author psychology chapter.  She took the initiative.