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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ACT Aspire

This page answers frequently asked questions about Arkansas State Assessment (ACT Aspire) by Teachers, Parents and Students

What is the assessment conducted at the end of the year in Arkansas State called?
What was the earlier assessment conducted before the introduction of ACT Aspire?
Why did Arkansas adopt the ACT Aspire for assessment of grades K-12?
When did Arkansas incorporate ACT Aspire as a form of the end of the year assessment?
What is the ACT Aspire testing window for 2017-18?
How many sessions are there for each ACT Aspire test?
What is the duration of ACT Aspire test?
Is there any break in between the ACT Aspire test sessions?
What are the question types in ACT Aspire test?
How are the performance levels assessed in ACT Aspire?
What is the calculator policy for ACT Aspire test?
How will StepUp® help my child prepare for ACT Aspire test?
What are the resources available to help prepare my child for ACT Aspire Test?

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What is the assessment conducted at the end of the year in Arkansas State called?

The assessment conducted at the end of the year in Arkansas State is called ACT Aspire.
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What was the earlier assessment conducted before the introduction of ACT Aspire?

Arkansas Benchmark test was used as assessment method upto 2013-14. In the year, 2014-15, the Education Department used PAARC as test method which was aligned to Common Core Standards.
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Why did Arkansas adopt the ACT Aspire for assessment of grades K-12?

    • The Switch over from Benchmark to PARCC was to phase in Common Core Standards in Arkansas schools. Also, PARCC was considered to be a more rigorous exam, corresponding to the more rigorous standards represented by Common Core.
    • But PARCC failed due to many reasons — some of them were, the frustration felt by teachers about the excessive time required to administer the test and logistical problems involving technology and adequate Internet access, but some districts have obtained waivers and conduct paper based assessments.

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When did Arkansas incorporate ACT Aspire as a form of the end of the year assessment?

ACT Aspire as a method of assessment started in the year 2015-16. The act went into effect on March 20, 2015.
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What is the ACT Aspire testing window for 2017-18?

Schools set their own schedules within the following windows:
Computer-based administration: April 9-May 11

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How many sessions are there for each ACT Aspire test?

ELA tests are conducted in 3 sessions- One for reading, One for writing and one for Language test.

Mathematics is tested in a single session.

What is the duration of ACT Aspire test?

The duration of the ACT Aspire test is as below:

ACT Aspire ELA Language:
Grade 3 to 8: 40 minutes

ACT Aspire Writing:
Grade 3 to 5: 45 minutes
Grade 6 to 8: 40 minutes

ACT Aspire ELA Reading:
Grade 3 to 8: 65 minutes

ACT Aspire Mathematics:
Grade 3 to 5: 65 minutes
Grade 6 to 7: 75 minutes
Grade 8 : 65 minutes
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Is there any break in between the ACT Aspire test sessions?

No, there are no breaks between a single session of ACT Aspire test.
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What are the question types in ACT Aspire test?

The question types in ACT Aspire Test include

  • Constructed Response Tasks that require students to explain, justify, critique, create, propose, produce, design, or otherwise demonstrate knowledge and understanding by generating a response when appropriate, context is provided to reinforce students’ practical applications of concepts, theories, principles, and processes.
  • Technology enhanced items and tasks incorporate computer interfaces to ask questions and pose scenarios that are not possible in traditional paper-based formats. they also present conventional items in fresh, innovative ways that motivate students. technology-enhanced items may require students to generate their responses, or they may present students with a wider and more complex set of answer options.
  • Multiple Item Types provides evidence needed to support inferences about student achievement.
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    How are the performance levels assessed in ACT Aspire?

    The performance levels for ACT Aspire are:

    The Student assessment is done at 4 levels. These are Needs support, Close, Ready and Exceeding.

    Exceeding: students demonstrate superior performance beyond proficient grade-level performance. They can apply skills to solve complex problems and complete demanding tasks on their own. They are able to make connections between abstract and concrete ideas and provide proper explanations and arguments to support their answers.

    Ready: students demonstrate Good academic performance and are well prepared for the next level of schooling. They can use learned skills and knowledge to solve problems and complete tasks on their own.

    Close: students demonstrate partial knowledge and lack skills necessary for the proficient level.

    Needs support: students fail to show sufficient skills to attain the basic level and need additional support.
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    What is the calculator policy for ACT Aspire test?

    Students in Grade 6 and above can use calculators. (a calculator tool is available on the cBt version.) For Grades 3–5, direct evidence of students executing important computational skills, practices, and understandings is required, so calculators are not permitted.
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    How will StepUp® help my child prepare for ACT Aspire test?

    The Lumos StepUp® provides
    (a) Online access to Full-length ACT Aspire Practice Tests .
    (b) Workbooks to practice 30+ Math and 40+ ELA skills.
    (c) Access to parent and student portals.
    (d) Access to Teacher portal.
    (e) Easy-to-use, advanced and real-time reports to help you identify areas of weakness and tailor personalized learning plans for your student.
    (f) Student-centric approach, combined with instant feedback boosts student confidence and improves learning outcomes.
    (g) StepUp® program can be accessed through a number of devices that include, PC, tablet and smartphones and it is available 24×7. This convenience helps enabling anywhere learning.

    To access Parent/ Student portal click here

    To access School / Teacher portal click here
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    To access StepUp® program FAQ’s

    Click here


    What are the resources available to help prepare my child for ACT Aspire Test?

    In addition to the Lumos StepUp® program benefits, you can also access sample
    questions on Lumos Learning site by clicking on the box below:

    To access Sample questions, click here

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    Related Topics


    What is the ACT Aspire

    ACT Aspire is the end of the year assessment which assesses student performance in English, math, reading, science, and writing.

    What is a good score on the ACT aspire?

    In 10th grade, the last year the ACT Aspire is given, the maximum score is 460. In grades 8–10, your results will include a composite score, which is just the average of the scores you got on the English, Math, Reading, and Science sections of the test. Meanwhile, the Writing section is scored separately

    Is Act aspire aligned to Common Core?

    While ACT Aspire does not measure all of Common Core standards, all of the skills and knowledge measured by ACT Aspire are aligned with and reportable to the standards. The ACT Aspire is designed to measure the skills of the students on the College and Career readiness standards.

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