6 changes you should expect to see this year (and how to prepare your students for them).
More than 1.8 million graduates take the ACT test each year. This year, a number of significant changes are being implemented that educators need to be aware of so they can better prepare their students for the major college admissions test. Below are the six major 2016 ACT changes you should know about.
The 2016 ACT changes include...
1. A broader range of engaging subject matter. In the past, the optional writing test presented controversies around school-themed issues. Now, the enhanced test presents conversations around a wide variety of contemporary issues.
2. A writing prompt that offers different points of access to the issue. Rather than only choosing to be for or against the issue, the updated writing test offers three diverse perspectives that encourage critical engagement.
3. A writing task that more clearly resembles real-world augmentation. Beyond asking students to take a position on the issue, the enhanced writing test asks students to develop an argument that puts their own perspective in dialogue with others.
4. Structures for planning the essay. The updated writing test provides guidance and structure for prewriting. In the past, the test simply had a blank space dedicated to planning.
5. More time for constructing the essay. Instead of 30 minutes, students now have 40 minutes to plan and compose their essays.
6. A more robust scoring system. The overall 1-to-36 ACT score scale won't change, but within each of the individual multiple choice tests (English, Math, Reading, and Science), the test will provide additional scores and indicators to give test-takers a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
For more information on the 2016 ACT changes, visit the official website here.
How to prepare your students for these changes:
The first step to preparing your students for these changes is to make sure that they are aware of them. We recommend that teachers mention these changes to their classes to make sure that students know what to expect when they take the ACT. Guidance counselors can also proactively ensure that seniors, juniors, and even sophomores are aware of these changes by providing students with the correct test prep books to study with. Tutoring program directors should make sure their study materials are up to date as they prepare their students for the college admissions test.
The top 8 test prep books for the ACT:
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