Kentucky’s primary use of the college admissions exam is to measure students’ level of readiness for college in core academic content areas. Meeting benchmarks on the ACT is one way students may demonstrate academic readiness in the Transition Readiness indicator of the state’s accountability system for schools.
Beyond the state use of results, the state-administered college admissions exam also benefits students, their parents and educators in several ways. Administering the college admissions exam as part of required state testing permits students to take the exam at no cost to them. The exam is administered during the school day, providing equitable access for all students to participate. Additionally, many organizations that offer merit or academic scholarships will identify and award financial assistance based on scores from a college admissions exam.
The ACT program is a comprehensive system for collecting and reporting information about students planning to enter postsecondary education.
The program consists of four major components:
Tests of Educational Development
The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading and science. The tests emphasize reasoning, analysis, problem solving, and the integration of learning from various sources, as well as the application of these proficiencies to the kinds of tasks that college students are expected to perform.
Course/Grade Information Section
This component provides 30 self-reported high school grades in English, mathematics, natural sciences, social studies, language, and the arts. The courses include those that customarily form the core of a college preparatory curriculum and are frequently required for admission to college.
Student Profile Section (SPS)
The SPS contains information reported by students, in such categories as educational plans, interests, and needs, financial aid, and demographic background information.
The ACT Interest Inventory
This 72-item survey reports scores that parallel six interest and occupational types, helping students identify majors consistent with their interests.