The ACT: Montana
The ACT® test is the nation's most popular college entrance exam accepted and valued by all universities and colleges in the United States. The ACT is based on what students learn in high school and provides personalized information about their strengths for education and career planning.
The ACT Taken on Paper
- Initial Test Date: March 20, 2018
- Makeup Test Date: April 24, 2018
- Emergency Test Date: May 8, 2018
- Accommodations Testing Window: March 20 - April 3, 2018
- Accommodations Testing Makeup Window: April 24 – 30, 2018
- Accommodations Testing Emergency Window: May 8 – 14, 2018
Important Testing Information
Select Your Testing Staff
- Staffing: Roles & Responsibilities (TC Information Manual) (PDF)
- Selecting your Testing Staff (YouTube)
Tips for Success
- Bookmark the url for your state’s testing website (this site) and check back frequently for updated information and content.
- Mark important dates from your Schedule of Events on your calendar and set reminders for deadlines.
- Read the What’s New document and pay close attention to recent changes, including those around the extended time testing policy (Timing Code 6) and the option to offer a longer break for ACT with writing administrations.
- Familiarize yourself with the seven stages of the testing cycle (Orientation, Configuration, Verification, Preparation, Administration, Transportation, and Interpretation) by browsing the drop-down trays for the ACT. You can see a brief description, action items, and resources associated with each stage to help you get a feel for the testing timeline. Content will be linked as it becomes available.
- Watch for emails from ACT with important reminders. Add our email address to your contacts to prevent emails from going to spam/junk folders.
PearsonAccessnext is the web application used by testing staff for completing administrative tasks leading up to testing, like managing participation and ordering materials.
The online Test Accessibility and Accommodations System (TAA) is used for the ACT test accommodations and English learner (EL) supports management. Requests are submitted and monitored with this system.
Manage Contact Information and Participation
- PearsonAccessnext User Guide for the ACT (PDF)
- Address Change Request Form
- Training Video: How To Manage Participation
- Training Video: Manage Contacts
Note: Contacts can only be managed by the district test coordinator (DTC). Ask your DTC to make any needed changes by following the process in this video
Upload Student Data
- Student Data Upload File Requirements & Loading Instructions (CSV)
- Student Data Upload File Requirements & Loading Instructions (TXT)
- Student Data Upload Header Template (XLSX)
- Student Data Upload Troubleshooting Guide
- Training Video-How to upload Student Data to PearsonAccessnext
Identify Needs for Accommodations and/or Supports
- Test Accessibility and Accommodations (TAA) User Guide (PDF)
- Consent to Release Information to ACT (for TAA Requests) (PDF)
- Order Form for Alternate Format Practice Tests (PDF)
- Retesting with Accommodations (PDF)
- Policy for Accommodations Documentation (PDF)
- Policy for EL Documentation (PDF)
- EL Information Graphic (English) (PDF)
- EL Information Graphic (Spanish) (PDF)
- EL Supports Guide (PDF)
- Quick Start Guide for Requesting Accommodations/Supports (PDF)
- Accommodations vs. Arrangements (PDF)
- Accommodations Q&A Training Webinar
- Accommodations Q&A Training (PowerPoint)
- Training Videos
Tips for Success
- Remember to complete Manage Participation before the SDU loads begin.
- Pay close attention to the dates that ACT is asking you to select in TAA. National test dates are also listed, so be sure to distinguish the test dates for your state’s administration.
- Note the fact that there are field size limitations for the SDU loads. First names are limited to 12 characters and last names are limited to 16. Making adjustments to generated files before loading will prevent errors.
- If you’re updating test coordinator information, it has to be changed in two places: the manage contacts screen and creating a new user account (see the PearsonAccessnext User Guide for the ACT Test in the resources above).
- The TAA PIN can only be applied to an examinee if:
- The school has indicated they are participating in PearsonAccessnext.
- The SDU file has been uploaded in PearsonAccessnext.
- The request has been submitted in TAA.
- The test date has been associated in TAA.
- The examinee has been approved for ACT-approved accommodations (not NCR or local arrangements).
- The examinee’s information in PearsonAccessnext matches the examinee’s information in TAA (including the spelling of the examinee’s name/use of a nickname).
- Communications from ACT about PIN applications/materials are in PearsonAccessnext, not TAA.
Verify Student Information and Materials Orders
- PearsonAccessnext User Guide for the ACT (Verifying Materials, Ordering Additional)
- Training Video: Ordering Additional ACT Materials
- How to Enroll/Verify/Update Students in PearsonAccessNext (Video)
Verify Requests for Accommodations and/or Supports
Tips for Success
- All transferred/newly enrolled students need to be uploaded in PearsonAccessnext during the window for verifying student information listed on your Schedule of Events.
- You do not place an order for initial standard time test materials; this order is automatically generated by your student enrollment count in PearsonAccessnext. Orders for initial materials for students testing with ACT-approved accommodations or EL supports are automatically generated when ACT enters the TAA PIN in PearsonAccessnext.
- If additional materials are needed after the window to verify student enrollment has passed, submit an additional order in PearsonAccessnext for standard time examinees, or call the ACT Test Accommodations team for materials needed for examinees approved to test with accommodations or EL supports.
- You can track test materials shipments using the Orders & Shipment Tracking option in PearsonAccessnext.
- If selecting the Late Consideration date in TAA, make sure the Late Consideration Form is included.
ACT Online Prep is an online resource to help students prepare to take the ACT test (on paper or online), featuring real questions from previous tests.
Share these resources with examinees to help them prepare to take the ACT.
Prepare Your Facility
Prepare Your Staff
- Training Testing Staff (TC Information Manual) (PDF)
- Test Administration Training Q&A #1 Session (Webinar)
- Test Administration Training Q&A #1 Session (PDF)
- Test Administration Training Q&A #2 Session (Webinar)
- Test Administration Training Q&A #2 Session (PDF)
- Montana OPI Assessment Conference - The ACT for New Test Coordinators (PowerPoint)
- Montana OPI Assessment Conference - ACT Test Administration & Accommodations Overview (PowerPoint)
Prepare Your Examinees
A program of self-paced tutorials designed for educators to strengthen their knowledge of the ACT test. This program will help educators apply that knowledge by integrating instructional practices promoting college and career readiness for all students to help them maximize their performance on the ACT.
- ACT Online Prep Manuals and Documents
- ACT Online Prep Training Videos
- Taking the ACT
- Preparing for the ACT (Paper) English
- Preparing for the ACT (Paper) Spanish
- Completing Non-Test Information (ACT Admin Manual - Standard Paper)
- Completing Non-Test Information (ACT Admin Manual - Accomms Paper)
- Completing Non-Test Information (ACT Admin Manual - NCR)
Successfully Achieving College and Career Readiness for All Students
- Course Welcome
- Why Take the ACT?
- Understanding College and Career Readiness
- Reviewing Curriculum and Instructional Systems
- Preparing Students for the ACT
- Analyzing and Using ACT Scores
Prepare Your Test Materials
- Receipt and Check-In of Test Materials (TC Information Manual)
- Preparing the Answer Documents (ACT Admin Manual – Standard Paper) (PDF)
- Preparing the Answer Documents (ACT Admin Manual – Accomms Paper) (PDF)
- Barcode Labels (ACT Admin Manual – NCR) (PDF)
- Preparing for Test Day (ACT Admin Manual – Standard Paper) (PDF)
- Preparing for Test Day (ACT Admin Manual – Accomms Paper) (PDF)
- Preparing for Test Day (ACT Admin Manual – NCR) (PDF)
Tips for Success
- Review the “Receipt and Check-In of Test Materials” section of the Test Coordinator Information Manual (linked above) before receiving your shipment. Have it available to refer to while unpacking your test materials.
- Run the TAA PIN report in PearsonAccessnext to view a roster of examinees testing with accommodations and/or English learner (EL) supports. Check this against the materials you receive in your shipment to ensure you have all accommodations materials for test day.
- As you’re unpacking your shipment, notice a couple new features about your return materials: 1) Return materials are color-coded by administration type; 2) You will no longer use polymailers in the return process, so these will not be in your materials shipment.
- Remember to hold a training session with all testing staff (new and old) before test day. This is required and is separate from the briefing session that happens on test day. Suggested topics to cover during the training session are in your administration manual.
- Schedule a session for examinees to complete the non-test questions before test day. Examinees testing with accommodations/EL supports can complete the non-test questions in the same session as all other examinees. You may also want to schedule an alternate time for any examinees absent during the first non-test session.
Resources for Test Day
- Test Administration Form - ACT Standard Time Paper (PDF)
- Test Administration Form - ACT Accommodations Paper (PDF)
- Test Administration Form - ACT Non-college Reportable Paper (PDF)
- Administration Manual - Standard Time Paper (PDF)
- ACT Administration Manual - Accomms Paper (PDF)
- ACT Administration Manual - NCR (PDF)
- Calculator Policy (PDF)
- ACT-Approved Bilingual Word-to-Word Dictionaries (PDF)
- Administration Supplement (PDF)
- Audio DVD Guidelines (PDF)
- USB Usage Guidelines (PDF)
- No Phone Poster (PDF)
- Training Video: Test Day Overview for Room Supervisors -Writing
Tips for Success
- Ensure you are using the correct materials for your test date. Using test booklets assigned for another test date will result in the cancellation of scores.
- Make sure examinees properly grid the form code into the Test Form block on their answer documents. This is essential to the answer documents being scored properly.
- If you are testing an examinee approved for English learner supports, print a copy of the ACT-Approved Bilingual Word-to-Word Dictionaries List (linked above) to verify at check in that the examinee’s dictionary can be used for testing.
- If you provide local arrangements to any examinees, be sure to complete an Irregularity Report.
Transfer Test Materials and Data
- After the Test (ACT Admin Manual - Standard Paper) (PDF)
- After the Test (ACT Admin Manual - Accomms Paper) (PDF)
- After the Test (ACT Admin Manual - NCR) (PDF)
- Collecting, Packing, and Returning Test Materials (TC Information Manual) (PDF)
- Training Video: How to Return Test Materials
Tips for Success
- The instructions for collecting, packing, and returning test materials are linked above. The instructions were updated for 2018, so carefully follow the new returns process. Polymailers are no longer used.
- Test coordinators should verify completeness and accuracy of materials received from room supervisors before returning them to ACT. Check that all Test Administration Forms are filled out and check that the test form code is properly gridded on each answer document.
- Test coordinators need to completely fill out the front of the processing envelope(s).
- When packing the processing envelopes, about 100 answer documents can fit in each envelope. Envelopes will need to be folded to fit into the shipping carton, so push materials down into the envelopes as far as possible.
- Do not return unused answer documents; keep those for makeup testing.
- Return materials for all accommodations examinees together at the end of the testing window. Do not return individual materials as they are completed.
- If you received any additional orders, the return shipping labels received with these orders will require you to fill in your high school name and code. These fields are already completed on initial order labels.
ACT Profile is a free, mobile resource to help examinees learn more about themselves and their college and career paths.
Examinees can access their test results through creating an online web account.
- Score Report Schedule for the ACT Test (PDF)
- ACT User Handbook for Educators (PDF)
- Sample Score Report - Student (PDF)
- Sample Score Report - High School (PDF)
- Understanding Your Scores
Impact of Test Data
Tips for Success
- Refer to your Score Report Schedule (linked above) for more information on when you can expect to receive score reports.
- Examinees can create an ACT Web Account to access their test scores online.
- Sample score reports and complete descriptions of the reports’ contents are available in The ACT Test User Handbook for Educators (linked above).
- The ACT score report now provides an ELA benchmark for any examinees who took the ACT with writing. This allows examinees to compare their ELA score to the benchmark. By meeting the benchmark, examinees increase their likelihood to succeed in English and reading-related college courses and to achieve longer-term outcomes compared to others.
ACT® Online Prep is an engaging, interactive test prep program developed by the makers of the ACT, using the same research and expertise that has made the ACT the most widely used college entrance exam in the nation. Administrator dashboards let you track students’ progress at an individual or aggregate level, including time spent on the program, performance on the practice questions and test, and areas in which they need more help. Students can access the program online or through a free mobile app at school, home, or on the go, anytime.
- ACT Online Prep: General Navigation (video)
- ACT Online Prep: Loading Students and Instructors for the School Test Coordinator (video)
- ACT Online Prep: Loading Students and Instructors for the District Test Coordinator(video)
- ACT Online Prep: Loading Groups for the School Test Coordinator (video)
- ACT Online Prep: Loading Groups for the District Test Coordinator (video)
- ACT Online Prep: Creating a CSV Upload File (video)
- ACT Online Prep: Creating Assignments for the Instructor (video)