If you’re a high school junior or senior—or even if you were one at some point—you’re probably quite familiar with the ACT, the kid brother to the SAT—the “other” standardized test colleges look at when considering student admission.
But did you know that the ACT got its start because of one man named Everett Franklin Lindquist?
Strangely enough, Everett Franklin Lindquist was born in 1901, the same year the first SAT was administered—so it was almost like he was born to counter the established standardized test.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Augustana College, he taught three years at an Illinois high school before becoming a graduate research assistant at the University of Iowa in 1925. By 1927, he had earned his Ph.D. and joined the College of Education faculty.
Lindquist’s contributions to education and testing are varied and profound. Not only did he publish a variety of books on educational research and testing, but he also helped develop an early test scoring machine, with the ability to read marks on an answer sheet at a rate of thousands of sheets per hour—without errors.
Lindquist helped found the ACT with the idea to emphasize practical knowledge over cognitive reasoning. While the SAT includes math, reading, and writing, the ACT includes English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. Other differences include the ACT being used for placement in addition to admissions, while also being an indicator of academic preparation (like an achievement test).
Today, despite Lindquist’s investment in trying to differentiate the ACT from the SAT, College Prowler users report the “math” sections to be the most difficult sections in both tests—so in some respects the tests are not so different from each other after all.
Have you taken the ACT test? What did you notice about it that differed from the SAT (if you took that, too)?