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Madison Metropolitan School District


Wednesday, May 5th and Thursday, May 6th, 2021

The April 28th Aspire test date has been rescheduled. As we bring students safely back to school, we are continuing to evaluate all school day activities.  For health and safety reasons and to continue with the COVID mitigation protocols, we cannot mix cohorts.  We are finding that it is necessary to change the Aspire test dates to May 5th and 6th.  This is a district wide change that will be consistent among all high schools.  Details regarding transportation will be shared as plans are finalized.  Students in 11th and 12th grades will receive asynchronous instruction on both of those days.


All 9th and 10th graders will take the Aspire test in-person at East High School on one of the two dates below, with lunch being provided.  

  • Cohort 1 and Virtual students will take the Aspire test on Wednesday, May 5th, 8:15am-2:45pm
  • Cohort 2 students will take the Aspire test on Thursday, May 6th, 8:15am-2:45pm 

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) will give students this state-mandated test to determine students’ instructional level and to measure academic growth in the areas of English, Reading, Writing, Math and Science. The Aspire tests align directly with the ACT test that is taken by 11th graders, and provides a sense of where students are at in preparation for college and career. The Aspire test will provide important information that will allow teachers to determine how a student is progressing at their current grade level, as well as which content areas need support. Results will be shared with families in the summer after all testing is completed.

To ensure that schools are able to provide the right environment for the ACT Aspire Assessment, these testing dates will be "9th & 10th Grade In-Person ONLY" days, meaning no students other than 9th and 10th graders will be in MMSD high schools. 11th and 12th grade students will receive asynchronous instruction on this day. 

Testing Day Logistics

You can view the ASPIRE Schedule to see what the day will look like. Below are some details students should know to make the day a success.

Arriving at East

  • Doors will open at 8:00am.

  • Please show up between 8:00-8:15am. Test begins at 8:20am. 

  • Please enter through Door #2 (Welcome Center), Door #4 (back parking lot), Door #9 or #10 (5th street).

  • Staff will be at the doors to check your ID.

    • If you don’t have an ID staff will look you up in IC -  You will get your 2020/2021 student ID in your testing room if you don’t already have it.

    • Staff will be in the halls to help assist you in finding your room.  

  • Go straight to your testing room.  (Room assignments were sent to student email accounts on May 4th, 2021)

What to bring and not to bring

  • Bring a Mask.

  • Bring your ID. (If you don’t have an ID staff will look you up on IC)

  • Bring your chromebook and Charger.  Please charge your chromebook the night before!

  • Bring #2 pencils, an eraser and a calculator (We have some available).

  • Absolutely NO CELL PHONES, SMART WATCHES, OR OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES ARE ALLOWED, EVEN DURING THE BREAK.  You will be dismissed from testing and score will be voided if cell phones are seen or heard.   


  • A free bagged breakfast will be provided beginning at 8:00am.  This must be consumed in the cafeteria before going to your testing room.  

  • A snack and a bottle of water will be provided during the 15 minute break. No food or drink is allowed in testing rooms.  You must practice social distancing in the hall while on break.  

  • You will eat lunch in your testing room.  A free bagged lunch will be provided.  You are welcome to bring your own lunch.


  • Madison Metro Transit will allow 9th and 10th graders to ride mainline service routes without a bus pass to and from their testing sites (schools).

  • You will need to show any MMSD ID or simply state, "I'm taking the Aspire Test."

  • There will be no specialized school routes. 

COVID Safety

  • There are no more than 12 students per room, with the average being 10. 

  • Everyone must wear a mask. 

  • Social distancing will be practiced at all times.

  • Bathroom capacity will be 3 students at a time. 

  • Please help us to keep everyone safe!

Prohibited Behavior

  • Looking ahead or back to other test sections.

  • Using an unauthorized calculator. (click here for calculator info)

  • Technology of any kind, even on breaks.

  • Disrupting others.

  • Alarms, phone rings.

  • Looking at others’ answers - CHEATING.


The test will finish at approximately 2:45pm for standard time.  

If you get extended time:

  • Cohort 1 and virtual students will finish the test on Tuesday, May 11th, in the afternoon.

  • Cohort 2 students  will finish the test on Friday, May 7th, starting at 1:30pm.  Lunch will be provided.


  • Get a good night's sleep and be sure to eat something substantial before the test. 

  • Go to the bathroom BEFORE the test. You won’t want to lose time during the test. 

  • Be calm and don’t stress!

    • A test score will never define you! 

    • Show up and do your best!

We look forward to seeing you!

General Test Information

More ACT Aspire Information on the MMSD website

What is it?

The ACT Aspire test is a state-mandated assessment given to all 9th and 10th grade students by a test proctor. It includes four curriculum-based tests that measure students’ education achievement in English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing. The ACT Aspire provides a measurement of being on track for college and career readiness.

Why is this assessment given?

This test is given to determine if a student is on track for college and career readiness, to inform the problem-solving process, to evaluate the efficacy of instruction at different levels of the system (e.g. classroom, grade level, school and district) and to comply with Wisconsin state statute as well as federal law. This test takes the place of most of the WKCE.

Who takes this assessment?

The ACT Aspire is given to all students in grades 9 and 10. Exceptions or modifications include any student who, through the IEP process, it is determined the test is not appropriate.

How is the test given?

The ACT Aspire is a timed, computer-based assessment. The time allotted is approximately 4-5 hours.

ACT Aspire Test Times by Subject

English - 45 Minutes

Math - 75 Minutes

Reading - 65 Minutes

Science - 60 Minutes

Writing - 40 Minutes

Total - 285 Minutes (4 Hours, 45 Minutes)

How will results be shared?

Student results will be sent to schools and families approximately 4 weeks after the test is completed. School and district reports will be available after all scoring is completed from tests across the state.

How does this assessment reflect my child’s performance?

As with any assessment, this is only one measure of your student’s academic performance. It is only through multiple assessments (for example, teacher developed assessments, state and district assessments) that we are able to develop a clearer picture of your student’s current level of performance as well as their growth over time.

Questions & Concerns

If you have any questions regarding assessments, please contact our East Testing Coordinator, Mikki Smith at