State of Michigan Ditches ACT for 2016 SAT Testing in High Schools

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Starting in 2016, 11th-graders in Michigan high schools will be taking the SAT college assessment exam instead of the ACT during spring testing.

The change is due to a three-year, $17.1 million competitive-bid contract won by College Board, which administers the SAT test, according to a Jan. 7 Michigan Department of Education press release. The Michigan Department of Education said that amount will cost the state $15.4 million less than the next bidder.

Beginning this spring, College Board will provide schools and students with free test preparation materials and online practice tests to help students plan for the SAT, which will be redesigned for 2016 to align with Michigan content standards.

All high school students will still be provided the WorkKeys assessment through ACT, Inc., which is a job skills assessment program designed to help employers build a high-performance workforce. The three-year WorkKeys contract will cost $12.2 million.

Since 2007, students in the state of Michigan have taken the ACT test in schools. Starting in 2016, the SAT will be administered to students for free. Students will have to pay to take the ACT outside of school — it will no longer be offered during in-school spring testing.

The ACT test was first administered in 1959 and currently consists of mathematics, science, English and reading sections with an optional writing portion.

The SAT began in 1926, and currently consists of critical reading, mathematics and writing sections.


ACT, Inc. sent a letter to the state of Michigan’s chief procurement officer Jan. 12 requesting an appeal hearing on the state’s decision currently favoring the SAT. The letter, available online via the Detroit Free Press, claims that the bid entered by the ACT was higher because it included an optional writing portion in the assessment.


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