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New digital ACT exam will speed up delivery of results

Published: Thursday, June 6 2013 3:05 p.m. MDT

Hales said a digital transition for the ACT was inevitable and only time will tell if the test improves as a result. But she added that state education officials embrace the need for technology and are encouraged by the innovation it allows.

"(Today's) kids are digital natives, and they can't understand when you don't have digital resources for them at school," Hales said. "That's how they're used to learning."

Casey McAffee, a junior at Tooele High School, said she has taken the ACT twice but would have preferred a digital option. She said taking the test on a computer would probably require participants to be more spread out than they currently are, and it would eliminate the sometimes cumbersome task of balancing test materials on a classroom desk.

"I dropped my papers several times," McAffee said. "They give you, like, four different packets you have to keep track of."

Giovanni Parker, a Tooele High School sophomore, said it's odd that the test hasn't gone digital yet. He said a computer-based version probably wouldn't change the way he studies or prepares for the test, but he would still prefer it to a pencil and paper version.

"I think I would like to take it on a computer," he said. "It seems easier to have everything in one place."

Erickson said the test is still in development, but so far the education community has responded positively to ACT's plans for a digital test.

"I think the general response has been very positive in that anything that helps make the college pipeline more efficient and more personalized is a very good thing," he said.

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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