How has ACT's research informed college and career readiness?
As a national leader in policy research on college and workforce training readiness, ACT has decades of empirical data that have informed the following:
- ACT's College Readiness Standards™
Our College Readiness Standards are detailed, research-based descriptions of the skills and knowledge associated with students' knowledge and abilities as they progress through school.
- ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks
While the College Readiness Standards describe the skills students likely have, ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks empirically establish college readiness as measured by performance on ACT Explore®, ACT Plan®, or the ACT®.
- Common Core State Standards
Our longitudinal data and long-standing commitment to all students becoming college and career ready uniquely established ACT as a valuable partner in—and advocate for—the Common Core State Standards Initiative. ACT's College Readiness Standards, upon which the ACT is based, are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. ACT data were used to develop the Common Core State Standards, which reflect a shared goal of preparing students for credit-bearing college courses and for careers and are consistent with international standards that promote high student performance.
- National Curriculum Survey
The ACT National Curriculum Survey® is a nationwide survey of educational practices and expectations. Conducted every three to five years by ACT, the survey collects data about what entering college students should know and be able to do to be ready for college-level coursework in English, math, reading, and science. The results of the survey are used to inform ongoing efforts to develop, refine, and update common academic standards such as the Common Core State Standards, as well as to inform policymakers and educators. The results are also used to help guide development of ACT's curriculum-based assessments—ACT Explore for 8th and 9th graders, ACT Plan for 10th graders, and the ACT for 11th and 12th graders—and ensure that they meet the needs of college and career readiness.