ACT EXPLORE Test FAQs

What kind of research supports the use of EXPLORE?
When should I administer EXPLORE?

EXPLORE can be administered anytime during the school year that is convenient for the school/district. EXPLORE 2012–13 answer folders must arrive at ACT no later than June 13, 2013, in order to be scored. Norms are provided on the score report as follows:

  • eighth grade students testing August 15 through January 31 will receive fall eighth-grade norms.
  • eighth grade students testing February 1 through June 1 will receive spring eighth-grade norms.
  • ninth grade students will receive ninth-grade fall norms regardless of their test date.
What should I consider when implementing EXPLORE?
  • When and how you would administer EXPLORE
  • What data you need for your school
  • How you will share this information with students, parents, and teachers
  • Will you share this information at school board meetings, back-to-school night, parent/teacher conferences, and other occasions?
What kind of test prep should students do for EXPLORE?
EXPLORE is a curriculum-based achievement test that assesses students in four core areas of their studies. As a result, the best test prep for a student is to take a rigorous curriculum and to understand the content and format of the test. Prior to test day, distribute Why Take EXPLORE? (PDF).
Are EXPLORE standards aligned to Common Core?
Yes, EXPLORE standards—like all ACT college readiness standards—are aligned to Common Core. Our longitudinal data and long-standing commitment to all students becoming college and career ready uniquely established ACT as a valuable partner in—and advocate for—the Common Core State Standards Initiative. ACT's College Readiness Standards, upon which EXPLORE is based, are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. ACT data were used to develop the Common Core State Standards, which reflect a shared goal of preparing students for credit-bearing college courses and for careers and are consistent with international standards that promote high student performance.
Who can access EXPLORE data, and what should we do when we receive the results?

Student reports are provided to students and families. District and school reports are available to principals and district administrators. Share and USE the data with these resources:

For School/District Faculty and Counselors
For Parents and Students
Can EXPLORE data feed into my local student data system?
Yes. EXPLORE data files are currently delivered on a CD that can be easily uploaded to your local student data system.