By Kevin Kim
As the SAT has changed to incorporate aspects of Common Core, the ACT has also been affected by this change. Although it will not be changed drastically, the ACT will now include new categories in addition to the pre-existing STEM and English sections, such as application to real life. Will this change create as much of a different outlook on the ACT as it has on the SAT? Does more Common Core equate to higher difficulty?
The ACT has provided an alternative for those people who struggle with the SAT or find it more difficult. Unlike the SAT, which simply tests the students’ competency in Critical
Reading, Math, and Writing, the ACT will now test and receive a report on their career readiness. The ACT tests students’ understanding on the subjects they learn in school, and it is aimed toward how they process what they have learned and how they might apply that knowledge. Therefore, the new ACT will be more applicable to students in the future by testing their skills in the workforce instead of just cognitive ability.
Because the ACT is connected to school education, most students find it “easier” than the SAT. This application has has given rise to positive opinions. Freshmen Vince Wardle thinks that “implementing more Common Core into the ACT would be beneficial to our learning and reflect more accurately of what we learn in class.”
These changes, contrary to popular belief, will not make the ACT any more difficult than it already is, except for the new essay. Nothing more would be added to the original 1-36 point system that tests STEM and English topics, but grading the test will become more in depth and detailed. As ACT President Jon L. Erickson stated, students will receive a "text complexity progress indicator," and an overall "progress toward career readiness" score to show skills that can be applied to the workplace.
These changes to the ACT will provide more accurate information about students’ strengths and readiness for both work and college. With a good score on this new ACT, students may be able to make themselves more appealing to the colleges they apply to.
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