ACT Aspire: Arkansas

Test Administration Process Next Steps

Select your current phase of the test administration process to see resources related to that phase.

Step 1: Orientation - Learn about test formats and policies; select test dates and provide shipping information; select test staff and set up accounts.

Step 2: Configuration -  Upload student data records; verify enrollment for test materials; order test materials; complete online site readiness.

Step 3: Accommodation - Learn about accessibility supports; request accommodations and/or supports; request reconsideration or late consideration.

Step 4: Preparation -  Complete non-test activities; provide examinees test prep information; prepare your facility, staff, and materials; update examinee information; create online test sessions.

Step 5: Administration - Administer the test.

Step 6: Transportation: Return test materials; purge online testing content.

Step 7: Interpretation - Access and understand score reports; share reporting information with examinees.

Important Dates

For 3rd through 10th Grade Students

Testing Window:

Summative Test Window: April 17- May 19, 2023


Helpful Links

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Activity: Learn About ACT Aspire

ACT Aspire® is the first computer-based longitudinal assessment system for college and career readiness that connects student progress from elementary grades through high school. 

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: The best way to ensure you’re reviewing information that is specific to testing in Arkansas is by using the links from your state’s website. Links on the Knowledge Hub may not be specific for Arkansas state testing. 

Tip: Bookmark the URL for your state’s testing website (this site) and check back frequently for updated information and content

Tip: Mark important dates from your Schedule of Events on your calendar and set reminders for deadlines.

Tip: Familiarize yourself with the seven stages of the testing cycle (Orientation, Configuration, Verification, Preparation, Administration, Transportation, and Interpretation) by browsing these sections for ACT Aspire.

Activity: Make Staff Arrangements

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: When creating users in PearsonAccessnext , select only the highest role needed for a specific user. If multiple roles are associated to one user account, you may experience permission issues

Activity: Complete Technical Site Readiness

Resources to complete this activity:

Tips: Review the Technical Bulletins for the latest news and information about technology. 
Review Features and Demos to learn about TestNav’s wide range of tools and features.
If you’re having technical difficulties, contact ACT to assist you in troubleshooting.
Review your 
Schedule of Events for important technical deadlines.
Familiarize yourself with the updated technical requirements and manuals.
Download the newest version of TestNav and run an App Check on each device prior to testing.

Activity: Manage Groups/Classes

 Create Groups/Classes (optional)

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: Creating groups/classes is frequently done at the same time as creating test sessions.

Tip: Using Groups/Classes helps organize student information as you set up your test sessions and organize your paper testing materials.

Activity: Arrange for Accommodations and/or English Learner (EL) Supports

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: Enter Personal Needs Profile for all applicable students before adding them to a test session.

Tip: Update students’ Personal Needs Profile information before the deadline in your Schedule of Events to ensure paper test materials are shipped.

Tip: Paper test materials are only available for Large Print, Braille, and American Sign Language.

Activity: Place an Additional Order

Resources to complete this activity:

Activity: Prepare for Testing

1. Train Your Staff

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: Hold a training session with all testing staff 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 the ACT Aspire Test Coordinator Manual.

Tip: Room Supervisors and testing staff assisting with test administration must read the appropriate administration manual.

2. Prepare Your Examinees

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: Use the Student Sandbox to become familiar not only with ACT Aspire questions but also with navigating TestNav and the tools within it. 

Tip: Use Test Question Booklets for each grade and subject that defines reporting categories, standards, depth-of-knowledge levels, correct responses, and improvement idea statements. 

3. Prepare Your Facility

Resources to complete this activity:

4. Prepare for Online Testing

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: Prior to test day, set up all the test sessions and assign students to the appropriate test session. ACT recommends completing this at least 2 weeks before test day.

Tip: Prepare test sessions 1-2 days prior to test day.

Tip: Print student authorization testing tickets 1-2 days prior to test day. Tickets are secure materials, so ensure they are kept in secure storage until test day.

5. Prepare Your Test Materials for Paper Testing

Resources to complete this activity:

Activity: Final Test-Day Preparation Steps

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: Do this step on test day, but before students log in for testing.

Activity: Administer the Test

Resources to complete this activity:

Administration manuals – Summative Testing


Tip: If you’re having technical difficulties, contact ACT to assist you in troubleshooting.

Activity: Online Post-Test Cleanup

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: Enter “Will Not Test” codes for students who didn’t test by the deadline listed in the Schedule of Events.

Tip: Administration Test Coordinators should communicate this to the State Test Coordinator because only the STC can enter these codes. “Do Not Report” codes apply only to Summative testing.  

Tip: Use a Do Not Report code for any test that was started but should not be reported.

Tip: Test Coordinators must ensure that all test sessions are stopped in the administration platform.

Tip: Record all irregularities according to instructions in the administration manual.

Activity: Return Paper Summative Test Materials

Resources to complete this activity:

Tip: Return answer documents within 48 hours of all testing being complete at your school. They must be received by ACT by the deadline listed in the Schedule of Events.

Tip: Pay close attention to the return shipping labels you use for scorable versus non-scorable materials, to ensure you affix the correct label to the correct box.

Activity: Understand Your Summative Score Reports

Summative Reports Guides
Summative File Layouts

Tip: Refer to your Schedule of Events to know when you can access score reports.

Activity: Understand and Use Reporting Groups

Resources to complete this activity: 

Tip: Reporting Groups allow users with the Full Access Educator or Reports Only Educator roles to see student test results. Students are assigned to Reporting Groups (and can be assigned to multiple Reporting Groups) which are linked to test administration platform users to allow educators to access student data.

Activity: Access Historical Reports

Resources to complete this activity: 

Tip: You can access reports and data files from previous testing years within the test administration platform.