News: SAT, ACT testing for success
Story by Cpl. Brian Stevens
IWAKUNI, Japan - Marines interested in attending college or becoming a commissioned officer can look into taking a placement test.
Placement tests allow institutions to see how applicants rank on a level playing field.
The Scholastic Assessment Test and the American College Test are two of the most common exams used by institutions today.
“The ACT measures general educational development and the performance of intellectual tasks required of a college student,” said Amelia C. Chappell, personal and professional development instructor with the MCAS Iwakuni Education Office. “There are four sections; English, mathematics, reading, and science, plus an optional writing section. A score of one to 36 is calculated for each of the four sections and is then averaged together to give a composite score.
Chappell went on to say that the ACT is more of a big picture test.
“The SAT is more of an aptitude test, measuring students’ critical thinking skills needed for academic success in college, based on knowledge and skills acquired in high school,” said Chappell.
Chappell said that the SAT tests critical reading, mathematics and writing.
The exam is scored by section, with a maximum score of 800 per section and a maximum of 2,400 overall. When considering applicants, the score of each section for the SAT is as important as the overall score.
“There is no scientific data indicating that one exam is easier than the other,” said Chappell. “For admission purposes, one test is not superior to the other. Which test you take depends on the requirements for the school or program you wish to attend. If both tests are accepted, your decision should be based on your strengths.”
The Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) requires both tests. The Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP) accepts both tests, but only requires one, according to www.marineofficer.com.
“Active duty personnel are allowed to take either the SAT or ACT one time free of charge,” said Chappell. “All other personnel and active duty members taking or retaking the tests would pay a fee the day of the exam. The SAT is $50 and the ACT is $35.”
Marines interested in taking these tests can stop by the education office in Building 411 and sign up. Test dates for 2014 are set and seating is limited. Study guides and practice tests are available in the station library.