Americans once referred to the SAT quite simply as the most important test. It was the one undergraduate entrance exam accepted nationwide. The SAT decided the fate of countless numbers of students each year.
Now, all of that has changed. The ACT has acquired increasing prominence among prospective college students and admission counselors. What was once only regionally accepted is now becoming a legitimate option for applicants.
Here is why the ACT has become more acceptable in the last few years.
- Aptitude Test Bias
There has been much discussion about the possibly of aptitude tests, such as the SAT, having a certain bias. This claim stems from the fact that aptitude tests measure a candidate’s potential ability. The SAT, for example, tests vocabulary that some believe has a social bias in favor of certain elite groups.
Students from less privileged backgrounds may not use the language found on the exam as frequently as those from families with generations of college graduates. A good ACT prep program that emphasizes reading is what many successful candidates use to overcome potential difficulties with vocabulary.
- Achievement Tests as Possible Solution
Achievement testing is one solution for those who with a dislike for aptitude tests. The ACT is just such an exam. Achievement tests measure what the candidate has learned. Thus, the questions seem more familiar to test takers. It is what they should have learned in high school.
Some colleges are beginning to realize that this measurement might be more relevant to academic success than aptitude testing. Thus, the ACT is more acceptable than in the past.
- Taking the ACT Even When No Test Required
People take admissions tests on a certain day, at a particular time. This means scores can be susceptible to external factors. What if the test taker is sick? What if the exam center opens a little late? There are various reasons why college applicants could score lower on one day than on another.
Some colleges realize that there are people who are just not good exam takers. They have begun allowing applicants to forgo submitting SAT scores.
Even when no score is required, the ACT might be the test for those with exam anxiety. The exam format, as mentioned, is familiar to students because the material comes from high school curriculum.
Taking the ACT may help these students get into school. Since no test score is required, a good ACT score probably will carry additional weight with the admissions committee.
For all these reasons, it’s easy to see that the ACT is important for students with ambitions to attend college. If you want more help understanding the ACT or getting preparation for the ACT, contact a company like ThinkALC with any questions you have.