Why Statewide Testing?

Adopting all or part of ACT's College and Career Readiness System on a statewide basis provides significant advantages for educational and career planning, assessment, instructional support, and evaluation.

  • Students benefit from a longitudinal growth model that includes coordinated measurement in 8th or 9th grade (EXPLORE®), 10th grade (PLAN®), and 11th or 12th grade (the ACT®).
  • The system focuses on the integrated, higher-order thinking skills students develop in grades K–12 that are important for success both during and after high school.
  • Norm and criterion-referenced assessments provide meaningful data for student and school improvement efforts.

What Kind of Interpretations Can Be Made on the Basis of ACT Scores?
(PDF; 3 pages, 52KB)

In addition, statewide testing:

  • raises awareness and exposure among all students, rather than just self-selected, college-bound students.
  • is a great equalizer of opportunity. Primarily, it brings more men, more minorities, and more middle- and low-income students into the enrollment pipeline.

ACT's assessment programs provide flexibility to meet state needs:

  • Testing window allows test administration either on designated weekdays or on weekends.
  • Utilize state-assigned IDs (instead of Social Security numbers) for students, protecting their personal information and facilitating easy integration of test results into state records system.
  • Quick turnaround means test results and follow-up materials are shipped within 3 weeks of testing for EXPLORE and PLAN, 4 to 6 weeks for the ACT.
  • Provides opportunity for customized State-Allowed Accommodations.

Key Differences between State-Allowed and ACT-Approved Accommodations
(PDF; 1 page, 13KB)

States can expect to enjoy a high return on their investment and to see a reduction in remediation.