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American College Test

The Act (American College Testing Assessment) assess a student's knowledge in English, math, social sciences and natural sciences. The test is administered by the American College Testing Program and it consists of four tests 35-40 minutes long.

Specifically, the American College Test was created to test college bound students cumulative knowledge in four different subjects: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science Reasoning. This multiple choice based test, which is usually administered in the south, is known for testing a student’s ability to recall formulas and fundamentals from the aforementioned subjects as well as a student’s ability to solve graphs. Students are graded on a scale of one (lowest) to thirty-six (highest) in each of these four categories. The four sub-scores recorded from these four respective topics are then averaged together for a composite score that is looked at upon universities for various purposes such as acceptance, scholarship qualification and then eventually class placement. This assessment does not penalize students for having incorrect answers as only correct answers affect the scoring. According to Mary Beth Marklein of USA Today, the national composite test score average in 2004 was 20.9, as a record number of test takers (1.2 million) were recorded. She also reported that in 2004, students tested higher in the reading section of the assessment (21.3), despite rants that the allotted time for this portion of the test is too short. The lower composite test scores throughout the years have created many jobs in preparing for the ACT. Test centers have been developed nationwide, and companies such as Kaplan offer strategies to taking the ACT along with practice tests (which are actual ACT tests administered throughout the years). According to the ACT official website, the test is given on six dates a year, at hundreds of locations, and students can take the test as many times as they desire, as the highest score is the only looked at determining acceptance. The traditional format of the ACT will now feature a writing assessment starting in October 2005 that tests students abilities to write a short essay (www.act.org).


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