The EXPLORE test is ACT’s (American College Test) college readiness test for 8th and 9th graders. The purpose of the test is to provide information regarding the students’ knowledge, skills, interests, and plans. This information can help students as they plan their high school coursework and begin to think about college and a career in the years ahead.

The test is comprised of four multiple-choice tests: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each test takes 30 minutes.

The EXPLORE test in English measures the student’s understanding of standard written English, including punctuation, grammar and usage, and sentence structure. It also measures understanding of rhetorical skills, such as the use of strategy, organization, and style in writing. This test has 40 questions.

The EXPLORE test in math measures the student’s mathematical reasoning skills. Rather than focusing on memorized formulas or involved computations, this test focuses on the student’s ability to reason in math. The four areas covered in the test are knowledge and skills, direct application, understanding concepts, and integrating understanding of concepts. The branches covered are pre-algebra, elementary algebra, geometry, and statistics and probability. This test has 30 questions.

The EXPLORE test in reading measures the student’s skill in comprehending written material from different school subjects. Students will be required to refer to details in the passage, draw conclusions, and make comparisons and generalizations. All questions are based on passages that are provided. This test has 30 questions.

The EXPLORE test in science measures the student’s scientific reasoning skills and his or her ability to draw conclusions based on given scientific information. Scientific information is presented in one of three formats: data representation (tables, graphs, and other forms), research summaries (descriptions of experiments), or conflicting viewpoints (two or more hypotheses that do not agree). Materials are based on the life sciences, earth/space sciences (such as geology, astronomy, and meteorology), and physical sciences. Students are tested on their scientific reasoning skills, not their recall of scientific facts or their math or reading skills. This test has 28 questions.

EXPLORE Skill Building Exercises


Basic Grammar
Punctuation and Capitalization
Identifying Main Idea and Details


Fraction Word Problems
Percentages and Ratios

EXPLORE test blueprint and breakdown


Last Updated: June 4, 2019