About ACT QualityCore


ACT QualityCore high school course standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language, and Math align extremely well to the Common Core State Standards as a whole.

ACT QualityCore also aligns with the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards. ACT's College and Career Readiness Standards are about the crucial college and career readiness skills and knowledge students must have to be successful. The ACT QualityCore Course Standards go into more depth at a course level, that is, a greater level of detail than the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards do.

ACT QualityCore allows educators, administrators, and policymakers to:

  • Focus on fewer, clearer, and higher course standards that are the essentials for college and career readiness
  • Use formative assessments to guide instruction and make targeted interventions
  • Measure student progress through benchmark and end-of-course assessments
  • Provide training opportunities for teachers and leaders
  • Customize instruction to the needs of specific classrooms, schools, and districts

Features of ACT QualityCore

The Foundation

ACT QualityCore is based, in part, on the 2005 report On Course for Success, coauthored by ACT and The Education Trust. The study examined high-performing classrooms that were exceeding national averages in preparing students for college and career. While each school was unique, they had four characteristics in common:

  • High-level, college-oriented content
  • Qualified and experienced teachers
  • Flexible and responsive teaching methods
  • Extra student support and interventions when needed
In 2007, ACT released Rigor at Risk, which showed that students who took rigorous courses in math and science were more likely to be ready for college and career and more likely to enroll in and graduate from college. As a result of both studies, preliminary course standards were developed and then validated by a group of teachers nationwide, forming the foundation for ACT QualityCore.

Courses Covered

English 9
English 10
English 11
English 12
Algebra I
Algebra II
Social Studies
U.S. History