Category Archives: Testing

An Interactive Map of ACT and SAT Results

An Interactive Map of ACT and SAT Results

One of the tools we used in my data science training to publish interactive web applications created with R was Shiny. I wanted to get a little more practice with Shiny and create an app that I thought could be of some interest to readers of my blog whether they visit for the secondary education aspect or data aspects I’ve been writing about more recently.

Below you will find an interactive map of the United States, written in R, using the googleVis package and Shiny. The left most tab includes ACT results, the middle tab includes SAT results, and the right most tab allows for comparison between the most comparable ACT and SAT results (i.e. the map compares “Reading” from the ACT to “Critical Reading” from the SAT).

Try not to take the comparisons between the states too seriously. As you can easily see by clicking on “Percent Tested”, some states have very few students participating in one test and many more in the other, which significantly skews results. For example, my own state of Illinois has the highest SAT results, but only 5% of our students take the SAT, likely among our highest achievers. We rank much lower on the ACT, but 100% of students took that test due to state requirements. Despite this major caveat, it’s interesting to see how different the results are across the country.

The map seems to look best when viewed in recent versions of Internet Explorer. All results used in the analysis are from the 2013 test. You can see the source of the ACT data here and the SAT data here. My source code can be viewed on GitHub.

Infographic: New GRE vs. Old GRE

Thinking of taking the GRE? Check out Kaplan test prep. They offer proven prep classes for the new GRE in both classroom and online formats for all levels of budgets. This week’s infographic is about the changes made to the new GRE vs. the old GRE. If you are thinking of going to grad school,…Continue Reading

Calculators for the SAT

One of the most common students ask before taking the SAT is, “Can I use my calculator on the test?”  The answer is yes… usually.  You do have to be careful to stick with the SAT’s list of approved calculators.  Fortunately, the SAT is more relaxed about what is allowed that many other standardized test…Continue Reading