ACT College and Career Readiness Standards

The ACT College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) are the backbone of ACT assessments. Empirically derived descriptions of the essential skills and knowledge students need to become ready for college and career, the Standards give clear meaning to test scores and serve as a link between what students have learned and what they are ready to learn next. Parents, teachers, counselors, and students have used the Standards to:

  • communicate widely shared learning goals and expectations
  • relate test scores to the skills needed in high school and beyond
  • understand the increasing complexity of skills needed across the score ranges in English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing

Changes to the Standards

ACT reviews the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards regularly as part of an ongoing validity process. That process, which includes analysis of the results of the 2012 ACT National Curriculum Survey®, showed us there was a need to reformat our standards to reflect more of the language of the many sets of college and career readiness standards being used by states (of which the Common Core State Standards are one).

As a result of this validity process, and in keeping with our philosophy of continuous improvement, ACT announced in May 2013 that the ACT College Readiness Standards would be reformatted and retitled the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards.

Updates as part of the reformatting include the recategorization of the Standards and the clarification and reformatting of many of the Standards’ language. These updates will make comparisons with other sets of standards easier. The updates also provide a clear, longitudinal connection to the reporting categories featured in our lower grade assessments.

Each content area page has the following features:

  • the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards (with PDFs for printing)
  • a brief overview of the changes
  • details of specific changes in each category and score range
  • links to Ideas for Progress, which have also been updated to correspond to the updated Standards