Now the ACT is making changes too?!! What does this mean for my child?

A few months ago, alarms went off in the heads of parents up and down the Main Line and beyond, as the College Board announced some major changes to the SAT starting in the spring of 2016.

Now, the ACT is announcing some changes to its test. This comes just months after the College Board (administrator of the competing SAT) announced sweeping changes to the SAT.

The SAT changes include moving the perfect score back to 1,600, making the essay optional and shifting the vocabulary away from some arcane words in favor of those more relevant to today’s world. The SAT changes also include reading questions which require more hard evidence from the reading passages. Finally, there will be some math questions which prohibit the use of a calculator. (Hallelujah to that one, I say!!…)

ACT officials said its changes are much more subtle and not in response to the College Board’s announcement. Based on what I have read, I agree. The changes to the ACT will hardly be detected at all. (Read about the changes here. They mostly affect how the sub-scores for each section are reported. There will also be some changes to the writing section (which is far less important than the rest of the test). The ACT may also start offering an online version of its test.

So, the million dollar question is “what does all of this mean for you and your children?” Drum roll please…..


Students should prepare for the ACT in the same way, as most of the important content that will affect one’s score will remain virtually unchanged.