Pella Chronicle


April 24, 2014

ACT administers first computer-based college admission exams, Pella CSD not to particpate yet

In a press release to The Chronicle it was estimated that approximately 4,000 high school students across the United States took the ACT® college readiness assessment on a computer on Saturday, April 12. It was the first-ever computer-based administration of a national undergraduate college admission exam.

“This is an exciting step forward for students and for ACT,” Jon Erickson, president of education and career solutions at ACT said in the release. “We are making great progress toward the official launch of the digital ACT option for state and districtwide testing next spring.”

However, at this time, this is not something that will be done in Pella.

“It appears that this will not be an option at first as we do not administer it to all students,” Lowell Ernst, Director of K-12 Instruction at Pella CSD, said. “I don’t think we would want to introduce a new testing format on such a high stakes test. If it all goes that way, I would prefer it happen after we introduce the format on the new state accountability assessment that is scheduled for 2016.”

The computer-based version of the ACT was administered to an invited group of 11th grade students in 80 high schools across 23 states. The schools had been selected by ACT and agreed to participate in this pilot administration.

“The administration went very well overall,” said Erickson. “As always at this stage, there were some technical issues, and we learned a great deal. We appreciate the participation of the students and high schools and their extra efforts during the process.”

The ACT scores that participating students earned on the digital version of the exam will be official and can be reported to colleges. The content of the exam was the same as that of the paper-and-pencil version, and reported scores will mean the same in terms of level of achievement for this administration.

The digital version will officially launch in spring 2015 in invited states and school districts, with expanded release for statewide and districtwide testing in spring 2016.

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