There are changes to the ACT brewing. Major changes. In fact, the ACT will no longer be an exam taken with paper and pencil. Instead, it will be a computer-based examination beginning in the spring of 2015, reports Tamar Lewin of “The New York Times” in her piece on the ACT. As for students at schools at which computers are not available, students at these schools can still take the ACT with paper and pencil. And for students who prefer taking the test by paper and pencil, they still can if they’d like, according to Jon Erickson (president of ACT’s educational division), as reported in Tamar Lewin’s piece in “The New York Times.”
And how will shifting the ACT from paper and pencil to computers impact the content of the exam? It won’t. The content of the ACT — with its four sections of English, reading, math and science skills, and the optional writing section will largely remain the same. According to “The New York Times” piece, “The computer-administered ACT will, for the first time, move beyond fill-in-the-bubble multiple-choice questions, with some optional items in which students perform virtual tasks to reach their answer. For example, Mr. Erickson said, one science question shows four beakers of chemicals, and lets students manipulate the items, pouring one beaker into another to monitor changes in density. Students might then be asked to predict the order of the layers if all four chemicals were poured into the same beaker. ‘We think these constructed-response items will allow students to get much more engaged and enthusiastic about what they’re doing,’ he said.”
What do you think about these changes to the ACT? Do you think it’s a good thing that the ACT will now be a computer-based exam or do you think pencil and paper was the better way to go? Do you think the SAT will soon be a computer-based exam as well? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below! And, don’t forget…Ivy Coach offers terrific ACT prep to students around the world.