Note: ACT Explore and ACT Plan® will be available ONLY for the remainder of the 2013–2014 testing year and will not be available after June 2014. The ACT Grade 8 and Grade 10 assessments will be migrating to ACT Aspire™.
- ACT Explore serves as the entry measure of academic progress in the ACT continuum.
- ACT Explore is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures the skills and knowledge that are taught in schools and deemed important for success in first-year coursework at postsecondary institutions.
- Through ACT Explore, students’ strengths and weaknesses can be identified early in their educational development, when they have the greatest opportunity to establish a program of studies that will help them achieve their career and educational goals.
- Just as with the ACT® college readiness assessment, ACT Explore comprises
subject area tests in:
- English (40 questions, 30 minutes)
- Math (30 questions, 30 minutes)
- Reading (30 questions, 30 minutes)
- Science (28 questions, 30 minutes)
There are four distinct users of ACT Explore score reports and data:
- Students in Grades 8 and 9 who take the assessment.
- Parents/families of these students gain early insight into a student’s level of preparedness for college and career by high school graduation.
- Educators can identify areas of academic risk, allowing for early intervention. Teachers and counselors may use ACT Explore results as a valuable advising tool when reviewing students’ academic progress.
- District and school administrators receive reports designed to help them advance student achievement and improve instructional tools. These reports provide the first step toward longitudinal student monitoring.
Volume/Number of Users
Number of Grade 8 and 9 students who took ACT Explore:
Growth in usage over the above period: 46.3%
- Each of the four subject area tests is multiple choice.
- Each of the four subject area tests is scored on a scale of 1–25. A Composite ACT Explore score is provided, along with an estimated range the student is likely to score on ACT Plan in Grade 10.
- ACT Explore is ordered and administered by schools or school districts. The school counselor may know whether ACT Explore is offered to eighth- and ninth-grade students in that school.
- ACT Explore includes an interest inventory that asks questions about the types of work tasks students would/would not like to do. This career exploration component is designed to stimulate students’ thinking about future plans and helps them explore personally relevant career options.
- ACT Explore standards, like all ACT college readiness standards, are aligned to Common Core.
- The individual score report provided to students and their families indicates for
each of the four subject areas:
- How many questions were answered correctly
- How many questions were omitted (there is no penalty for guessing, so an omitted item is marked as incorrect)
- How many questions were answered incorrectly
- Prescriptive suggestions on how to improve each of the key skills measured by ACT Explore
- How the student’s ACT Explore score in each subject area compares to established benchmark scores (below/at/above) indicating the likelihood of being ready for first-year college courses
- Students who take ACT Explore and ACT Plan earn higher average scores on the ACT test than those who don’t.