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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Throwback Fact: The ACT

With the first ACT exam quickly approaching--this Saturday, in fact!--the Center of Math wanted to talk about the history of the ACT and how it has evolved over the years. Although the ACT has not been around as long as the SAT, it has become just as popular and is now accepted by all universities and colleges in the US.

The ACT was created by E.F. Lindquist, an education professor at the University of Iowa, in August of 1959. Originally called The American College Testing Program, the test was created in reaction to higher demand for college entrance exams. On November 7th 1959, over 70,000 students took the first ACT, and thereafter the test grew in popularity. The main goal of the ACT (that separates itself from the SAT) was to test students on information taught in school, as opposed to cognitive reasoning. The ACT originally tested english, reading, math, and science, and the exam as it stands today has those very same subjects.

Over the years, the ACT organization has expanded its business to include adult education, career preparation, childhood development, and much more. In 2005, the ACT added an optional writing section in response to the SAT doing the same. Recently, the administrators of the ACT announced that they were adding new score breakdowns in the results returned to testees. These include a STEM score, which will help students understand their strengths in math and science, and a Test Complexity Progress Indicator, which will help students understand how ready they are for tests in college.

The ACT is a great alternative to the SAT for students who enjoy science, or could have done better on the SAT. If you're starting to think about colleges and standardized tests, take a look at both and see which one is best for you!

If you would like to see some ACT math practice problems, with step-by-step solutions, check out our Youtube playlist which is dedicated to ACT math problems.

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