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An intro to the Arkansas ACT Aspire tests

THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2016 15:27 PM

You may have heard of the ACT test. These aptitude exams provide colleges with a comprehensive look at what high schoolers know and whether the students are ready to move on to postsecondary education. According to the Arkansas State Board of Education, Arkansas students take a version of this test, the ACT Aspire.

What is the ACT Aspire?
The Arkansas Office of Student Assessments noted that 3rd through 10th graders must take the summative assessments. These range in topics from English to reading, writing, science and math. Students who are English language learners or receive special education assistance, like those on an individualized education plan, may take an alternate version of the tests that is more skill-level appropriate. Students take the tests on computers, minimizing the chance for cheating and paper-related mix-ups. 

How will the test affect my kids' college applications?
The ACT Aspire is related to the regular ACT in that the 3rd through 10th grade tests are great practice for the ACT students take during 11th grade. This is the exam that many colleges accept as an entrance test. It's important to check with the schools your children will apply to before sending your kids' results, as some education institutions prefer the SAT.

Taking the ACT Aspire also indicates how well each student is doing in exam subjects. Those who earn high scores are ready to move to the next grade level, as they have a full understanding of the required topics. Students who earn lower scores may require extra help to get on par with their grades and then advance to higher levels. ACT Aspire scoring is not related to students' regular work. However, the grades your kids earn the rest of the school year may help you determine what areas need the most help to succeed on the ACT Aspire when the time comes.

Preparing your children for the tests
Many students get nervous before taking big exams. This anxiety is not only stressful, but it can actually affect the outcome of your children's grades. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, encourage your kids to try Arkansas ACT Aspire practice tests. Even running through just a few versions of example problems and questions can provide enough insight into the testing that your children's nerves reside.