A free tool designed to help educators determine their students’ progress toward ACT and SAT benchmarks as early as 6th grade, and up to 12th grade.

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Formats: Free web page available on all browsers.

Website: https://www.renaissance.com/act-sat-benchmark-tool/

What does it help with? This is a free tool designed to help educators determine their students’ progress toward ACT and SAT benchmarks as early as 6th grade, and up to 12th grade. The earlier educators can identify which students are on track to reach college and career readiness benchmarks and which need additional support, the earlier they can intervene to help ensure all students have the opportunity to pursue their dream university or career.

What grade and age range? Grades 6–12/Ages 12–18

Is this core/supplemental/special needs/extracurricular/professional development or what? The ACT and SAT benchmarks tool is designed to help with core reading/language arts and mathematics instruction. The tool also provides helpful hints to help educators determine next steps to ensure growth.

What subject, topic, what standards is it mapped to? The data that powers this tool is linked to the ACT college admissions test for English, reading, and mathematics as well as the SAT college admissions test for evidence-based reading, writing, and mathematics.

What lesson time does it use? Little to no time. Educators, parents/guardians, and even students can enter student scores into the tool and get results instantly. The tool is available 24/7 and can be accessed from any device with Internet access; it can be used at school, at home, at the library, and even on the go.

What is the pricing model? Free

Are there services around it? The tool itself uses students’ scores from Renaissance Star Assessments®, so it’s important users have Star Assessments in their school to track students’ progress and measure growth. Star Assessments are among the most widely used assessments in the U.S.

What makes Renaissance unique? Renaissance® is a global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, providing award-winning assessment, reading, and math solutions to more than 52,000 schools worldwide, including more than one-third of U.S. schools. Renaissance’s research-driven solutions and professional learning services help education leaders assess student progress, inform instruction, personalize practice, and increase equity and access.

A description of the characteristics--how is it designed for user interface, user experience? What instructional design principles are at work here? The tool is designed for maximum ease of use. No training is needed, and step-by-step instructions are provided in the tool to assist users. The tool itself is split into two tabs, one for reading and one for mathematics.

Users first select a grade, month, and benchmark from a drop-down menu, then enter each student’s Star Assessments score. The tool allows users to enter scores for an individual student or an entire class at a time. From there, users instantly see if their students are on track to meet ACT and SAT benchmarks. Results are displayed in a color-coded table and also as visual graphs, allowing users to quickly see what number of students are on track for each benchmark. There is also information below the tool on how to interpret the data and tips for improving student performance. All reports can easily be printed or saved as PDFs for future reference.

Platform and Access? The free web page available on all browsers, and works on mobile devices too.

Technical Support? Yes, Renaissance provides customer support via live chat or phone if questions arise at any point.

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By: 
Charles Sosnik, Learning Counsel Editor