Frequently Asked Questions

What is the calculator policy for QualityCore?

Use of Calculators on the ACT QualityCore End-of-Course Assessment

Unless a calculator is provided by the school, each examinee is responsible for bringing his/her calculator to the test and making sure it works properly. Examinees may bring a backup calculator and extra batteries, but they may not have more than one calculator on the desk or in operation at a time.

Examinees are allowed, but not required, to use an approved calculator on the following End-of-Course Assessments:

  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Precalculus
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
Permitted Calculators

Examinees may use any four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator unless it has features described in the Prohibited Calculators list. Models on the Calculators Permitted with Modification list may be used only if the room supervisor modifies them as indicated. A minimum of a scientific calculator is recommended, as examinees may not be able to solve some problems without one.

Prohibited Calculators

The following types of calculators are prohibited:

  • Calculators with built-in or downloaded computer algebra system functionality—Prohibited calculators in this category include:
    • Texas Instruments: All model numbers that begin with TI-89 or TI-92 and the TI-Nspire CAS—Note: the TI-Nspire (non-CAS) is permitted.
    • Hewlett-Packard: HP Prime, HP 48GII, and all model numbers that begin with HP 40G, HP 49G, or HP 50G
    • Casio: Algebra fx 2.0, ClassPad 300, ClassPad 330, fx-CP400 (ClassPad 400), and all model numbers that begin with CFX-9970G
  • Handheld, tablet, or laptop computers, including PDAs
  • Electronic writing pads or pen-input devices—Note: The Sharp EL 9600 is permitted.
  • Calculators built into cell phones or any other electronic communication devices
  • Calculators with a typewriter keypad (letter keys in QWERTY format)—Note: Letter keys not in QWERTY format are permitted.

What can schools, districts, and states hope to accomplish by using QualityCore?

With QualityCore, schools, districts, and states across the country will increase student college and career readiness by raising the overall quality of high school core courses. QualityCore helps teachers focus on teaching the essential skills students must have to be ready for college and careers.

Would all of our students benefit from QualityCore, or just those who are college-bound?

QualityCore is intended for all high school students. ACT research demonstrates that these courses have a substantial impact on ensuring that students are adequately prepared for first-year college coursework and post-secondary training programs. Moreover, ACT research demonstrates that the level of skills required for college readiness are comparable to the level of skills required of students who go directly into workforce training programs. Ensuring that our nation's high school graduates are prepared for both college and career is the goal of QualityCore.

What is the vision for how QualityCore should intersect with the existing curriculum?

QualityCore provides a framework with model resources for effective instruction. Teachers can identify courses in need of improvement and then use the instructional resources to increase course quality.

Does QualityCore better prepare students to take PLAN® or the ACT®?

QualityCore is intended to help teachers raise the quality of high school core courses to increase student readiness for college and career. PLAN and the ACT are curriculum-based assessments measuring college and career readiness. By effectively using QualityCore, student scores on PLAN and the ACT should naturally increase.

What information will teachers receive from the End-of-Course Assessments?

Teachers will receive information about the performance of each of their students, as well as information about the class as a whole. This information will include both composite- and subscore-level results. They will also receive information about performance relative to local and state norms (where applicable). Teachers will be able to provide students and parents with performance information, including a composite score, subscores by course standards, and an estimated ACT score range based on each student's QualityCore End-of-Course Assessment.