Back in the olden days when I was preparing for college, an entrance exam was an unpleasant surprise so I signed up to take it. No one told me that there were two and that is how the ACT became my exam of choice, ignorance… That scenario played out many times before I graduated from college but that is a story for a different time.
Anyone taking an entrance exam today definitely knows about the ACT because its popularity has been on the rise. A few years ago it became so popular that more students took it than the SAT. That prompted a big shakeup for CollegeBoard and the new SAT was the result. Now the people over at ACT have made another move designed to get more students and schools interested in their product. The PLAN test that used to be the answer to the PSAT exam has been replaced by the PreACT. This pretest is designed to identify areas where the student may be weak on their college entrance exam as well as offer insight on course selection for the junior and senior years of high school.
Students are warned that the PreACT does not have a writing portion like the actual entrance exam has and to get plenty of practice with reading and producing good writing before and during the junior year of high school. That is good advice for any college bound student no matter your preferences in exams.
Continued moves like this on the part of the ACT organization will likely have school districts, parents and students gain interest their value-added options. If they figure out how to attach a national scholarship award to their new PreACT exam, it could spell more trouble for the SAT organization.
The fierce competition between the two big testing services for college entrance exam king will likely cool off a bit in the near future. More and more colleges are warning up to the idea of making the entrance exam optional. If this becomes the prevailing opinion, a shift will have to be made to grade school and high school educational materials. The race is on and ever-changing in the college admissions game…