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Tests and the Rest: College Admissions Industry Podcast

Mar 27, 2020

ACT, Inc. didn’t always endorse the practice of superscoring for admissions, but the test maker has changed its institutional stance on the basis of compelling evidence. What did ACT researchers uncover that everyone should know? Amy and Mike invited ACT Senior Director in Research Krista Mattern to share the newest findings regarding ACT superscoring and section retesting.

 What are five things you will learn in this episode?

  1. Why was ACT historically against superscoring and what changed?
  2. How predictive are superscores regarding academic success in college?
  3. How does research support the concept of section retesting?
  4. What is the philosophy behind the order of the ACT sections?
  5. What are the similarities and differences between paper-and-pencil and online testing ?


Krista Mattern is a Senior Director in Research at ACT. Her research focuses on predicting education and workplace success through evaluating the validity and fairness of cognitive and non-cognitive measures. Also known for work in evaluating the efficacy of learning products to help improve intended learner outcomes. 

Krista has over 100 publications including journal articles, technical reports, and books chapters and has served as the editor of two books. Her work has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Educational Measurement, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, Educational and Psychological Measurement, and the Journal of College Student Development. She received her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Find Krista at


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Tests and the Rest is THE college admissions industry podcast. Explore all of our episodes on the show page.