Starting April 2014, the Act will begin offering its new student readiness assessment system, ACT Aspire. The ACT website boasts that this will be the “first computer-based, longitudinal assessment system” providing feedback on a given student all the way from elementary school through college and career readiness. The test will replace the ACT Explore and Plan tests, which were designed for 8th/9th and 10th graders, respectively. Neither Explore nor Plan will be available after June 2014.
According to ACT, Inc. Associate Heather Lee, the ACT Aspire “represents a natural evolution for ACT…[ACT, Inc. is] leveraging the experience [from the Plan and Explore tests] into ACT Aspire.”
The Aspire will allow schools to assess students much earlier than either the Explore or the Plan. Whereas the Explore was designed for students as young as 8th grade, the Aspire will debut with versions for students from third grade upward. Plus, the test may be a proving ground for the computer-based testing that will likely replace paper tests within the next few years.
For a presentation on the “migration” from the Explore/Plan to the Aspire, see the ACT’s website.