Illinois to Transition to ACT Exams for State Assessments

Illinois high school students will face a different state assessment next year, as the Illinois State Board of Education switches from the SAT to the ACT exam.

Both exams evaluate students’ skills in English language arts and math, serving not only as college admission requirements but also as tools for scholarships and federal compliance under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Illinois phased in the SAT as its 11th-grade state assessment in 2017, later introducing the PSAT 8/9 for 9th-graders and the PSAT 10 for sophomores to the testing lineup.

The decision to switch to the ACT came after the prior contract with the College Board, who administered the SAT, expired in June. A new six-year, $53 million contract with ACT was approved in May.

One key difference highlighted by ISBE’s FAQ document is that the ACT includes a science section, eliminating the need for a separate Illinois Science Assessment and reducing overall testing time.

Students wishing to take the SAT or PSAT/NMSQT will need to arrange those tests independently, in addition to the mandatory statewide ACT exam.

Capitol News Illinois

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