Entrance tests like the SAT and ACT have gone through important changes in recent years. While the redesigned SAT exam is receiving a huge deal of attention, the ACT exam will also begin to debut a latest format in the spring of 2015.
One of the main innovations on the ACT exam will be the availability of optional constructed response exams as a supplement to the standard examination. The constructed response ACT exam format will initially be available as a special supplement at select colleges and schools that participate in online exam. Each supplemental exams will assess a student's skills and knowledge in a given topic or subject, with full, national implementation to follow in the coming years.
Here are some things each and every student should know about ACT constructed response exam.
1. Constructed response questions are open-ended-
The opposite of constructed response is chosen response - or in the case of the ACT test, multiple choice. Selected response problems essentially give you with the right answer hidden among many incorrect alternatives. It is your task to discern the correct option.
Constructed response, on the other hand, requires you to generate the accurate answer on your own. As you will see below, the strategies used to solve a constructed response item are similar to those needed to properly answer many multiple-choice problems.
In truth, constructed response items are not completely new to the examination. For instance, the essay is a constructed response problem that calls for a detailed answer to a relatively short problem.
The new part of the new ACT test format will be the diversity of items. You may face fill-in-the-blank questions and short answer problems, for example. You will not be asked to write multiple-page-longessays, but you will need to parse more difficult problems for well-supported solutions.
2. The supplemental exams are optional-
Most students who take the ACT test in 2015 or 2016 will only encounter multiple-choice questions. Even if the latest format is available where you live, the supplemental exam will be optional.
Before you register for the constructed response tests, determine whether the university or colleges you are interested in will consider or require them. If you donor see the supplemental ACT exam listed on the admissions site for your favorite college or school, call and ask.
Cost is another consideration. Although the price per supplemental exam has not yet been finalized, the new examinations will not be included in the standard ACT exam fee. If your application is already strong, there may be small advantage to incurring the additional expense.
3. You can begin to prepare now-
As discussed above, constructed response questions are not latest to the world of standardized examination. There are a number of useful strategies that can be employed when solving them and you can begin to master these techniques now.
One such approach is known as RACE, which stands for restate, answer, cite and explain. Each and every element refers to one step that is required to construct a strong response.
Restate refers to the necessity of rewording the problem to demonstrate your comprehension. For example, a question about a passage might ask, "What is John's motivation for turning down the promotion?"
Your RACE answer might begin with, "John's inspiration for turning down the promotion is his dislike of the manager to whom he would report."
The cite portion of your solution would refer to a specific line number from the passage. This type of answer is analogous to a multiple-choice question that asks, "Which line best supports the following statement?"
The last steps explain and answer, just require you to draw a line from the citation to your way of thinking. You will have to explain what about that specific line that made it evidence-worthy, and the point it proves.
As more detail about the new format of ACT exam becomes available, other approaches - mainly for math and science topics and questions - may emerge. Until then, concentration on fundamentals, and investigate whether your short-list colleges or schools will require the ACT supplemental exam.