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ACT Science Deceptive?

Much2learnMuch2learn Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
It seems to me that the ACT should rename its "Science Test", if they are not going to measure Science knowledge but rather, assess skills related to success in science.

I have no problem with the test itself, but it is not a Science Test and to me, it is dishonest to call it one. Dishonest in the same way as when a person says they have a Phd, when in reality they only possess a few of the skills that are important to obtain a Phd. They are not the same.

I know someone will say that they include about one science question per test, but to me, that rationale is like labelling Pork and Beans as simply "Pork" because of one tiny piece of pork fat.

What do others think?

M2L
Post edited by Much2learn on

Replies to: ACT Science Deceptive?

  • vemanevemane Posts: 4 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    It seems to me that the ACT should rename its "Science Test", if they are not going to measure Science knowledge but rather, assess skills related to success in science.

    but rather, assess skills related to success in science.

    assess skills related to success in science.

    skills related to success in science.

    skills in science.
  • blahblah9393blahblah9393 Posts: 11
    edited May 2013
    It's called the Science Reasoning section, which is exactly what it is.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Blah Blah, I like that name.

    Actually your statement is not correct. They call it Science. Here is their description pasted from act.org:


    "Description of the ACT

    The ACT (No Writing) consists of four multiple-choice tests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The ACT Plus Writing includes the four multiple-choice tests and a Writing Test."

    If they called it Reasoning related to Science, or just Reasoning, I would agree, but the call it Science and it clearly is not.
  • billcshobillcsho Posts: 243
    edited May 2013
    Does the name matter? They have the details described on their official website:
    Test Descriptions | ACT Student
    "Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences."
    Other website also calls it science reasoning test: ACT Science Reasoning Test Information
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    I think it matters because we teach kids that honesty and integrity matter.

    If a student claimed a Phd. on their resume, and then in the fine print said that what that means is that they have a few of the skills that are required for a Phd., I think that would be unacceptable. Why is this different?

    For some reason the bar seems to be set lower for the students than a highly esteemed educational institution like ACT.

    Maybe everyone is inured to it at this point?

    M2L
  • sg12909sg12909 Posts: 21 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    It's more of an Interpretation of Scientific Data test.
  • billcshobillcsho Posts: 243
    edited May 2013
    Calling it science test is not lying. Indeed, it is a fair way to test all students that have taken different science classes. If it is all about scientific knowledge in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, most students would fail at least 1/3 of it unless it test only very very basic things from middle school (which is useless for college admission purpose). They do list out what they are testing on the website and data interpretation is science.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    I agree that it is more of a Interpretation of Data test. Even Pre-Science Skills would be a good name.

    I was not commenting on the fairness of the test at all. I also am not unhappy that there is no real Science Test. However, since there is not, I don't think you should have something else that is labelled Science Test.

    I just think that we are telling kids that it is fine to claim you have a Phd. in bold print on your resume when you do not, as long as in fine print on a website somewhere, they explain that they mean they have skills that would be important for a Phd.

    Our expectations of institutions continue to ebb.
  • Transfer2017Transfer2017 Posts: 14 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    It is an interpretation of the data provided.
  • OboefreakOboefreak Posts: 14 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    I was killing myself over having to take the Science part but then I realized it was all just graph interpretation.
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