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Utah Aspire Plus

Testing window: March 25 – May 17, 2019

Why test?

Assessments are an essential element in the learning process, allowing teachers and administrators to:

  • Evaluate learning and provide specific feedback
  • Measure student growth and achievement
  • Gauge effectiveness of programs and resources
  • Make instructional and policy decisions


As educational technology progresses, stakeholders provide feedback, and solutions become more cost-effective, Utah assessment systems are able to offer improved experiences for test-takers.  Some improvements that will be added to the Utah Aspire Plus will be

  • A hybrid model between Utah core standards and the ACT Aspire allows for the test to provide information about Utah core standards and report score predictions for ACT.
  • Grade 9 and 10 end-of-level tests will be transadaptive, meaning the test will be translated into Spanish and adapted to account for linguistic and cultural differences between English and Spanish speakers.
  • Printed Braille and large print manuals will be shipped to schools ahead of time, so no Braille printing is required during testing.
  • After the first year, a parent portal will come online giving parents direct access to student scores.
  • Utah educators will work to create the blueprint for the test and build the item bank. After the first round of testing in Spring 2019, Utah educators will also convene to establish cut scores and conduct item review.
  • Short benchmarks tests will be made available for courses in the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Tests can be downloaded to the student computers using proctor caching to avoid problems with poor network connectivity.

What do the tests look like?

  • There will be four subjects tested in each grade: English, Reading, Science, and Math.
  • The four tests can be administered in any order. Schools can schedule the tests ACT-style, where students sit down and take each component test one after the other. Or, schools can schedule tests SAGE-style, where individual teachers sign up for different dates within the testing window.
  • The tests will be timed, like ACT Aspire and ACT.
  • The test will not be differentiated by course, only by grade level. Freshman will have a distinct, different test from sophomores, but the Math and Science tests will not vary based on the courses in which students are enrolled.
  • Science tests will focus on the ILO standards instead of the content standards. In other words, the questions will focus on the process of scientific investigation rather than questions about Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, or Physics content.


Contact Ben Jameson at 801-567-8243 | You can also contact Brooke Anderson at 801-567-8393 |