Online ACT Testing

In May 2013, the ACT administration announced its plans to offer an online version of the exam.  In the spring of 2014, have the opportunity to take the ACT for free on a first come first serve basis.

The cost of an exam usually fluctuates between $34 and $49.50, but with the current adjustment, an exam is being offered for free. The scores received by students taking the online version will be compared with those received with the paper exam.  Students participating in the online exam experiment will be able to report their scores to colleges.

On April 12, the ACT will randomly assign 70 registered students to online or paper test forms.

It is not guaranteed that students will have the opportunity to take the computer-based exam.   Two-thirds of the students will take the ACT online; one-third of the students will take the paper and pencil exam. To make the administration fair and valid, students may not choose their exam. Students will learn of their assignment on the day the test is given.

The ACT entrance exam is a 3-hour test that contains an English, math, science, and writing section.

Computer versions of all ACT tests will be offered by 2015.

“I think many of the students are excited to take the online test,” said ACT coordinator Martha Berry.  “There generation is more technical so I think there will be great results.  Only eleventh grade Schreiber students are eligible to take the exam.  I think this will make the kids less nervous because they know everybody around them.”

However, others feel apprehensive about this new experience.

“I think it’s a great opportunity but I still feel nervous that I won’t know exactly what I’m doing until the test day,” said junior Sally Kuan.

The material of the test will not be changed.  It will stay a curriculum-based exam and will still be scored on a scale of 1 to 36.  In order to participate, students must agree and understand to the conditions of administration.

Students will be able to take the electronic version of the exam on school-provided desktop or laptop computers.  Participating schools must have a minimum of 40 computers.  In Schreiber, the test will be given only in two computer labs without the use of Chrome Books.

“Personally, I will choose the paper and pencil exam because I was nervous to be one of the first people trying the computer-based exam,” said junior Emma Marshall.  “Although, our generation is technically savvy, I do not feel comfortable taking the exam online.  Also, the scores are not given until mid-June.”

The paper-and-pencil version of the exam will continue to be available to schools that do not have the capability to administer the computer based test.

Constructed-response questions, or free responses, will require students to enter their own answer, rather than selecting the best answer from a multiple-choice question.

The optional constructed-response questions given on the computer generated ACT will allow school districts to align their scores with the Common Core State Standards.The point of making the exam available on a computer is for the ACT administration to test the efficiency of the digital version.

“I think this is a great opportunity and will be very beneficial for this testing system,” said junior Lauren Rudman. “It uses modern day technology which I think will really increase the efficiency of the ACT and even increase the scores of the students taking it.”