ACT Aspire testing season is about to go full throttle. Even though the ACT Aspire program is comprehensive in that it includes interim practice assessments throughout the year, even the most prepared teacher has a moment of anxiety leading up to the big days. If that sounds familiar and you are wondering if something more can be done, we have extra online ACT Aspire practice tests and a few tips for the final preparation as we count down to test day.
Top 5 Skills for ACT Aspire Practice Success
1. Understanding Technology-Enhanced Questions
Technology-enhanced questions make up a good portion of the ACT Aspire tests. To perform well and not get stumped by the mechanics, students need to know how to manipulate the mouse to perform a variety of tech-specific maneuvers. High-stakes assessments such as ACT Aspire require them to do operations like drag and drop, fill in boxes on a table, highlight, select and de-select, use drop down menus, activate a video, and even use online calculators.
The tech-enhanced questions in Edulastic will give your students the opportunity to practice taking the test on a platform that mimics the test. This gives your students the chance to become comfortable with the mechanics of the questions so that during the test they can direct their focus to the content. If students need a little extra practice focusing on digital assessment question types, consider giving them a fun, low-stakes assessment.
2. Typing and Keyboard Skills
Regardless of the subject or section, ACT Aspireassessments have short answer and essay questions. These require students grades three through early high school to type on a keyboard. As a result, students should be familiar with the keyboard’s letters, numbers, delete, space bar, scrolling, etc. For younger students, understanding the keyboard can be a challenge, so exposure to typing time in class will give them the extra advantage at testing time.
You can use Edulastic’s Essay question type to practice both short answer or essay responses in class or as outside assignments. It is common to assign a one question short answer or essay just to get the experience. Open response question types will also enable students to practice attention to detail when using the keyboard to submit responses.
3. Comprehension of Nonfiction and Informational Texts
Understanding and analyzing nonfiction or informational texts has a much more significant place on the new Common Core-style assessments than has traditionally been taught.
Incorporating non fiction passages into test practice is crucial to adequately preparing students for the ACT Aspire assessment. Edulastic’s Passage Based tech-enhanced questions will give the students exposure to these types of questions and get them used to reading and comprehending online. From there, students can adjust to scrolling through text, locating portions of the text, and responding to passage-based questions online.
4. Familiarity with the Device
Whether you are testing on iPads, laptops or another device, the students should be familiar with the device they will be tested on. Watching YouTube on an iPad isn’t the same as being tested on it, so the students should practice specifically for academic uses. Students should know some basic troubleshooting techniques, such as how to open the browser if it closes. It is also helpful if the student is aware of an escalation plan in case something goes wrong with the device.
Give students practice assessments on the device they will use for the official exam. In fact, try taking a handful of Edulastic’s ACT Aspire practice assessments ahead of time on the device. Bonus points if you can set up the room and atmosphere to mimic the conditions that students will experience on the official testing day.
The students will be sitting at a computer or a device for an hour or more. While an adult may take this for granted, it can be difficult endeavor a formal testing session. Exposure to working in front of a computer for a lengthy period of time can help them build up the stamina needed complete the tests. Working up to an assignment with 30-50 questions is a worthwhile exercise.
While students taking ACT Aspire have access to periodic assessments through the school or district, here are few others from our library that you can use to build stamina. For more ACT Aspire practice tests, enter the terms ACT Aspire in the search box in the Assessment Library and filter for your grade or subject.
Ready to practice? Log into Edulastic and start assigning ACT Aspire practice assessments to your students!