Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Students to Take New Tests this Spring

ACT Aspire, ACT WorkKeys, and The ACT College Readiness Test

(NOTE: Current Information from the SC Department of Education as of March 12, 2015)

Three new tests - ACT Aspire, ACT WorkKeys and The ACT College Readiness Test – will be administered this spring to South Carolina public school students. Other tests given in previous years, such as SCPASS for science and social studies in grades 4-8 and end-of-course exams for high school courses, remain the same.

The three new tests will help teachers understand where students are succeeding and where extra help and/or academic focus are needed. Accommodations are provided for students with special needs.

Testing Tips for Students

  • Get plenty of rest the night before the test, and eat a healthy breakfast on the day of testing.
  • Follow directions exactly, and ask questions if unsure.
  • Go back and review responses if you finish the test with time to spare.
  • No electronic communications devices, including cell phones, are allowed during testing.

ACT Aspire
Grades Tested: 3-8
Testing Dates: Tuesday, April 28 – Thursday, April 30, 2015

ACT Aspire will be administered to students in grades 3-8 for English, reading, writing and mathematics, except for students who qualify for the South Carolina Alternate Assessment (NCSC). The ACT Aspire is a timed test and will be paper-based this year. The ACT Aspire is aligned to state standards and lessons taught in public school classrooms.

Aspire is linked to the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards, connecting a student’s score to specific skills and knowledge needed later for college and work success. The test also relates a child’s academic progress from one grade to the next grade.

The ACT College Readiness Test
Grade Tested: 11
Testing Dates: Tuesday, April 28; Students Testing with Accommodations: April 28 - May 12, 2015

The ACT College Readiness Test will be administered to all 11th grade students in South Carolina. Eleventh grade is defined as a student’s third year in high school after initial ninth grade enrollment. Students will take the test whether or not they plan to attend college. Students do not have to pass to receive a high school diploma.

The ACT consists of four multiple choice, timed tests – English, math, reading, and science – plus a 30-minute essay that measures a student’s writing skills. Most students will receive an ACT score that can be used for college enrollment, scholarships, and NCAA eligibility requirements. Scores are valid for five years.

Scores range from a low of one to a high of 36 in each subject and for the total score, which is the average score in all four areas rounded to the nearest whole number.

All 11th grade students in South Carolina are eligible for FREE online preparation courses. Schools will provide information to students. There is no cost to take The ACT.

ACT WorkKeys
Grade Tested: 11
Testing Dates: Wednesday, April 29; Students Testing with Accommodations: April 29 - May 13, 2015

ACT WorkKeys will be administered to all 11th grade students. Eleventh grade is defined as a student’s third year in high school after initial ninth grade enrollment. ACT WorkKeys is used by employers to select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. More than 1,500 employers in South Carolina recognize the WorkKeys certificate. Doing well on ACT WorkKeys may help high school students find summer and part-time jobs and internships.

The ACT WorkKeys test consists of three multiple choice timed tests – Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information. Scores average from a low of three to a high of seven for each section. Students may earn an ACT National Career Readiness Certificate at four levels: platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. Students are not required to pass the test to receive a high school diploma.


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