Bengaluru: ACT is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help people achieve education and workplace success. Trusted as a worldwide leader in US College and Career readiness, ACT has been providing high-quality assessments grounded in research for nearly 60 years.
Most people know the ACT test, but that’s just one aspect of its work.
More than two million students in last year’s high school graduating class in the United States took the ACT test.
From elementary school through career, ACT offers individuals a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights throughout their life.
As a non-profit organization, ACT re-invests in research, programs and services to support its mission.
Simmy Ziv-el, ACT’s Vice President – Global Business Development said more people take the ACT than any other test in the USA when it comes to US college admission for undergraduate programs. He also highlighted that ACT is more suited for Indian students to get into undergraduate programs in US, considering that it measures academic skills and knowledge rather than abstract information.
Ziv-el went on to add that ACT has taken its test to computer-based mode globally, and the first batch of candidates took the ACT test on computer-based mode this week in India. “We consider India as a ‘Broadway’ and to achieve the online delivery of the high-stakes test, we had to team up with an Indian company that has global recognition, trust and quality. For us, we found that partner in MeritTrac.”
Ziv-el added, “Our partnership with MeritTrac, a subsidiary of Manipal Global, cements our commitment to Indian families by helping to expand our test centre network and greatly increasing the availability of high-quality ACT test preparation materials and opportunities in India. This will highly benefit the Indian test takers and allow them to access resources currently available to test takers in the US and other countries outside India.”
Gopal Devanahalli, CEO, MeritTrac, said, “ACT brings the premier college screening test from the US for students in India. MeritTrac shall bring the test centres closer to the test takers and to tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India. We are glad to be a part of the team that is taking ACT’s premier test on computer-based mode.”
Each year, ACT reaches millions of individuals in all 50 US states and in more than 130 countries. ACT’s programs are designed to boost lifelong learning and potential for success in schools and workplaces around the world. ACT is involved in Guiding students along their learning paths, Enabling companies to develop their workforce,
Fostering parent, teacher, and counselor understanding of student learning and progress toward
College and career readiness, Helping job seekers navigate toward career success,
Developing new and better ways to help individuals learn, and Informing policymakers about important issues impacting education and workforce.
In the history of ACT our passion for making things better is foundational to everything we do at ACT. In fact, that’s how ACT started. In 1959, University of Iowa education professor E.F. Lindquist, along with U of I Registrar Ted McCarrel, launched the ACT® test. The test broke new ground, focusing not on aptitude, but instead, on academic achievement – mastery of the skills and knowledge taught in schools.
Lindquist’s and McCarrel’s trailblazing assessment sparked a long history of ACT innovation. ACT was the first to define college and career readiness standards. The ACT was also the first and is still the only college entrance exam to include a science assessment. And while ACT initially focused on assessing college readiness, they understand that learning is a lifelong journey. ACT now offers more than 20 programs and services, providing support for all of life’s transitions from elementary school through career.
ACT rose to prominence in the educational and credential testing world with its sterling reputation in research, test development, and psychometric services, all of which were implemented by the premier innovator in testing, E.F. Lindquist-one of the founders of ACT who is also called out as the fountainhead of testing programs at Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, among others. As it looks to the future, ACT’s mission remains clear: help people of every country, creed, and socioeconomic level achieve education and workplace success. To this end, ACT looks to expand its offerings in personalization: in both existing and future assessments, as well as breaking new ground in adaptive learning.
Technology is an important driver of ACT’s innovation. In 2018, ACT has launched three important technology initiatives to advance its mission:
Computer-based testing at international test centres. To further support students seeking to take the ACT test for admission to all 2 and 4-year institutions in the US (as well as approximately 300 universities outside of the US), ACT test administration outside of the US will now occur via computer, enabling faster score reports and increased number of testing opportunities.
Free, individualized, online test prep with ACT Academy. ACT Academy affords all students a portable, accessible mode of test preparation personalized to their education needs.
Local, relevant, online communities via ACT Club. In spring of 2018, ACT launched ACT Club with its strategic regional partners. This online community is localized to better serve regions that may need different content or support, based on the education climate and goals of the stakeholders.
ACT is one of the only two tests that students take for demonstrating their college readiness – the other being SAT from College Board. We are witnessing a rising interest in ACT tests from the Indian test takers, resulting in an exponential growth in the ACT registrations in the country. Both tests are often the key to study abroad, with more than half of Indian outbound students choosing to attend university in the US.
International test takers have historically scored better on the ACT, not only due to its having a science section but also due to the lower weightage of English in the overall test. ACT’s mission spurs it to help these students reach their goals, and part of that is growing our network in India to provide them more, better, higher fidelity practice opportunities and secure, professional testing centres. ACT’s move to computer-based testing this year will provide test takers with multiple opportunities to take the test (from the previous 5 sessions per year in the paper-based format to 24 sessions in the CBT world). The results will also be available to the students in just 2 days as compared to the current 6 weeks time frame.
Moreover, the writing section is typed by the test taker using a keyboard instead of handwritten.