ACT in Asia

Asia and the ACT, ACT Asia, South Korea and the ACT

ACT seems to be in proverbial quicksand in South Korea.

The ACT is America’s “most popular college entrance exam.” It’s a moniker the ACT loves to tout since there’s a common misconception out there that more students take the SAT as compared to the ACT. It’s simply not true anymore. Times have changed and College Board’s SAT has found itself playing catchup. But with great success comes great responsibility, and an article by Steve Stecklow, Alexandra Harney, and Ju-min Park for “Reuters” hangs a lantern on just how, in our opinion, ACT has faltered in its responsibility to maintain the integrity of the exam.

As reported by these journalists for “Reuters,” “The maker of America’s most popular college entrance exam approved South Korea’s Seoul Scholars International school to administer the ACT test this year, Reuters found, even though the school is owned by a company that offers test-preparation services. That company’s test-prep center says on one of its websites that its students achieve ‘astonishing’ increases in their ACT scores. In the past year, ACT Inc has also licensed a Chinese company to operate an ‘ACT Club’ to promote the test in China. Reuters found that the club offers ACT test-prep classes.”

We call on ACT to stop such practices, to support the integrity of their exam over their bottom line. Of course there are test prep companies. Of course students around the world get tutored for the ACT (and SAT for that matter). Hello, it’s a real global market. But for ACT to offer their exam at places owned and operated by these test prep companies in South Korea, a country where there have been widespread reports of cheating, boggles our minds. Get it together, ACT.

Have questions about the ACT in Asia? We’re curious to hear from our readers so post a Comment below and we’ll be sure to jump in on the conversation.

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