Changes Announced to the ACT®

ACT, Inc. recently announced enhancements to scoring that will be included beginning in 2015. The 1-36 score model will not change but will be supplemented by new scores and indicators. These changes will not impact the overall composite score a student receives on the exam but will provide greater context to students regarding their performance.

As stated by ACT, Inc. these new scores and indicators are “designed to improve readiness and help students plan for the future in areas important to success after high school, such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and career readiness”.

A summary of the new scores and major highlights are:

  • Creation of a STEM Score which will represent the student’s overall performance on the science and math portions of the exam.
  • Creation of an English Language Arts Score which will combine the results of the English, Reading, and Writing portions of the exam.
  • Creation of a Career Readiness Indicator which will provide students and educators with information on their progress towards readiness in a variety of career paths.
  • Creation of a Text Complexity Progress Indicator which will measure student progress toward understanding the complex tests they will encounter in college and beyond.

Additionally, the 2015 exam will include enhancements to the optional writing test aimed at providing students with a greater opportunity to demonstrate their analytical writing ability.

How will this affect students?

The new scores are aimed to help students better correlate their ACT performance to real-world potential. By adding dimension to the ACT score without changing content, greater context regarding results is provided - both of which are good news for students.

At Kaplan, our 75-year history has included numerous test changes, and we understand the challenges that come with navigating one. Since the content of the ACT is not being altered, we do not anticipate these enhancements will impact how we prepare students. However, we’ve always helped families understand what the ACT means in college admissions and will fold these latest score enhancements into our ongoing conversation.