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Study says ACT is flawed on reading, math

A new study has found that two of the four main parts of the ACT — science and reading — have “little or no” ability to help colleges predict whether applicants will succeed.

The analysis also found that the other two parts — English and mathematics — are “highly predictive” of college success. But because most colleges rely on the composite ACT score, rather than individual subject scores, the value of the entire exam is questioned by the study.

“By introducing noise that obscures the predictive validity of the ACT exam, the reading and science tests cause students to be inefficiently matched to schools, admitted to schools that may be too demanding — or too easy — for their levels of ability,” says the paper released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research (abstract available here).

ACT officials said that they were still studying the paper, of which they were unaware until Monday. But they defended the value of all parts of the test.

Read the entire article at Inside Higher Ed.

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