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OECD Selects ACT to Develop PISA 2021 Creative Thinking Assessment

IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT, the nonprofit developer of the ACT® test and other assessments taken by millions of individuals worldwide, announced today that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has selected ACT to develop a creative thinking assessment for use in the world-renowned Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2021.

PISA, widely recognized as the benchmark for evaluating education systems worldwide, assesses the skills and knowledge that 15-year-old students across the globe will need to succeed in education and career.

PISA is administered by OECD every three years. More than half a million students from 72 countries participated in PISA’s 2015 cycle. PISA assesses student learning in mathematics, science, and reading plus a fourth, innovative domain that changes with each testing cycle. The ACT-developed creative thinking assessment will be the fourth element in the 2021 testing cycle.

“A fundamental role of education is to equip students with the skills they need in the future,” said Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills and special advisor on education policy to the Secretary-General at OECD. “Creative thinking is a necessary competence for today’s young people to develop, as societies increasingly depend on innovation to address emerging challenges. PISA 2021 will take international assessments into a new phase by gathering data on young people’s creative thinking skills.”

“We are thrilled and honored that OECD has placed its trust in ACT to develop this new assessment for the internationally respected PISA,” said ACT CEO Marten Roorda. “Developing a creative thinking assessment will require true innovation, as there is currently no assessment in the market that provides a comprehensive measure of students’ abilities in this domain. We look forward to this challenge.”

ACT’s development of the creative thinking assessment will be an extension of its recent work in developing the ACT Holistic Framework, a comprehensive description of the skills and competencies necessary for education and workplace success at every stage of life. The work for this project will draw heavily on expertise from ACT’s innovation arm, ACTNext.

Dr. Gunter Maris, senior director of advanced psychometrics at ACTNext, will be the research program director for the team. He will be aided by Dr. Yigal Rosen, senior director of learning solutions at ACTNext, in leading the task development for this innovative assessment. Dr. Rosen has acted as the liaison for the PISA expert group for the core assessments, which gives ACT more comprehensive direction for a successful project.

Augmenting ACT’s expertise and experience will be CITO, contributing its feedback on the adaptability of proposed task types and test items.

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About ACT

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as a leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights that help individuals succeed from elementary school through career.