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ACT Aspire Technical Bulletin #2

ACT Aspire® includes a vertically scaled battery of achievement tests designed to measure student growth in a longitudinal assessment system for grades 3–10 in English, reading, writing, mathematics, and science.

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ACT Aspire is designed to measure students’ progress toward college and career readiness. The scale scores are linked to college and career data through scores on The ACT® and the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ (ACT NCRC®) program. Empirically based ACT College Readiness Benchmarks provide information about whether students are on target for readiness at the appropriate grade/subject levels. To enhance score interpretation, reporting categories for ACT Aspire use the same terminology as the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards (ACT CCRS) and other standards that target college and career readiness (including the standards of many states and the Common Core State Standards [CCSS]). Some reporting categories are unique to ACT Aspire. These include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), justification and explanation in mathematics, progress with text complexity in reading, and a progress toward career readiness indicator.

The types of items based on a given construct are determined by considering the amount and nature of the evidence needed to support an inference. These requirements are balanced with maintaining manageable administration conditions. The ACT Aspire design includes several item types (i.e., selected-response, constructed-response, technology-enhanced) and a range of item difficulties at varying depths of knowledge. ACT Aspire assessments cover learning progressions from foundational concepts to sophisticated applications.

Taken as individual subject tests or as a battery, ACT Aspire can be delivered online or as a paper administration.