The computer-based testing model for the ACT test® is scheduled to launch in all international markets in September 2018. With this change, there will be an increase in the number of testing opportunities for your students. Each year, there will be six test windows (up from the current five test dates). In addition, the goal is to make each window two days long, with two sessions each day—a morning session and an afternoon session, depending on location.
Delivering the ACT test online will also reduce the time between testing and reporting. Instead of completed test materials being collected, packed, sent, clearing customs, sent again, received, unpacked, and finally scanned, and returned back to the examinee, multiple choice scores will be available to students as quickly as 48 hours after the student completes the test.
Please note that, during the first year of transition from paper to CBT, the process for requesting accommodations and testing with accommodations will remain the exact same in all international markets.
Registration for the 2018-2019 administration of the ACT test in International locations opens in July 2018. In the meantime, the ACT team is working diligently to ensure all systems are prepared and communications sent to various stakeholder audiences, partners and potential examinees, to ensure a successful transition to this new delivery model.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the ACT start as a computer-based test?
The first computerized ACT test at international test centers is scheduled to be fully operational in September 2018. We expect registration for the September date to open July 18, 2018.
Will there be an option to take the paper-and-pencil version after the 2018 launch?
No. When the computerized ACT test is fully operational for international administration, that will be the only mode of testing available for the examinees taking the ACT test with standard time internationally.
Many students are worried they will not get a good score on a computer-based test because they have not taken one before. Will ACT provide practice opportunities that will simulate the test?
ACT currently offers a CBT experience through ACT Online Prep (AOP). Note that the knowledge and skills tested on the ACT test will remain the same, as will the types of questions asked, so test preparation materials such as The Official ACT Prep Guide and Preparing for the ACT will continue to provide valid, useful examples of test questions and a simulation of the testing experience.
Will the computer-based test used internationally be equivalent to the paper-and-pencil test used in the US? How will colleges compare them?
The college reportable scores on the computer-based test will be equivalent to those earned on the traditional paper version, and colleges will be able to evaluate them in the same way. The duration of the testing experience may vary between computer-based and paper-and-pencil tests, but the level of skills assessed will remain the same.
Is ACT planning to reduce the number of test dates?
No. In fact, with the launch of computer-based testing in 2018, we plan to expand the number of ACT testing sessions for international students from 5 up to 24, which includes morning and afternoon sessions in a window, depending on location. Students will select one day and session (morning or afternoon) when registering for the ACT test. Additionally, a student can test once per window from the first test date in September, to the last test date in June. Therefore, the maximum number of opportunities a student could test from September to June is six.
Continuation of this level of service will be reliant upon positive results for testers, counselors and admissions advisors. ACT is committed to supporting international students in reaching their educational goals by offering our test in as many countries and on as many dates as we can, while maintaining test security and keeping costs down.
Will test scores from the international computer-based test have the same value to universities? How will they compare results with the American paper-and-pencil form?
Yes. Research studies that demonstrate the equivalency of scores of the two different modes will be completed prior to launch. Scores for the computer-based ACT test will have the same value and will be reported to colleges and universities in the same manner that current ACT scores are today.
How many sections will there be in the computer-based ACT, and how many questions in each section?
The ACT test will have the same four content sections and continue to measure English (75 questions), math (60 questions), reading (40 questions), and science (40 questions), with an optional writing section (1 question).
How will accommodations work in this new format?
ACT is relentlessly committed to ensuring a high-quality assessment that provides a level playing field and fair testing experience to all students. The same paper accommodated formats will be available for students who qualify and ACT will continue to update subscribers on progress toward the availability of accessibility features and capabilities to provide approved accommodations within the computer-based assessment.
How can students prepare for the new test?
Students should prepare for this test just as they would prepare for the current version. Focus on mastering the content through rigorous coursework, tutoring, and test preparation. ACT Online Prep provides diagnostic assessment and other information in a computerized or mobile delivery method to help students prepare for the ACT. Closer to the beginning of CBT, an online tutorial and computer-based practice tests will be made available.
We will continue to release more information in the weeks and months ahead, with alerts sent to our list of subscribers first. We encourage students, parents, counselors and you to add ACT to your contacts list to ensure you receive notifications when we release additional information about international testing.
As we shared previously, we are committed to providing regular updates regarding milestones and other important information. If you are interested in receiving these updates, please provide your contact information here. If you have immediate questions, please email email@example.com and we will respond to your request as quickly as possible.