1987 (originally called P-ACT+)
There are four distinct users of PLAN score reports and data:
- Students in tenth grade who take the assessment.
- Parents/families of these students who gain early insight into a student’s level of preparedness for college and career by high school graduation.
- Educators who identify areas of academic risk, allowing for early intervention. Teachers and counselors may use PLAN results as a valuable advising tool when reviewing students’ academic progress.
- District and school administrators who receive reports designed to help them advance student achievement and improve instructional tools.
- PLAN is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures the skills and knowledge that are taught in schools and deemed important for success in first-year coursework at postsecondary institutions.
- PLAN serves as the midpoint measure of academic progress in ACT’s College and Career Readiness System.
- PLAN results can be used to determine if students are likely to succeed in Advanced Placement (AP) coursework offered in high school for college credit.
- PLAN reports provide a tool for longitudinal student monitoring when preceded by EXPLORE® in the eighth or ninth grades and followed by the ACT® exam in eleventh or twelfth grades.
- With the emphasis on universal standards, PLAN data can help align curriculum to the Common Core State Standards.
PLAN comprises subject area tests in:
English (50 questions, 30 minutes):
30 questions on usage/mechanics; 20 on rhetorical skills
Mathematics (40 questions, 40 minutes):
22 questions on pre-algebra/algebra; 18 on geometry
- Reading (25 questions, 20 minutes)
- Science (30 questions, 25 minutes)
- English (50 questions, 30 minutes):
Volume/Number of Users
Number of tenth-grade students who took PLAN:
Growth in usage over the above five-year period: 18.9%
- Each of the four subject area tests is multiple choice in format.
- Each of the four subject area tests is scored on a scale of 1–32. A composite PLAN score is provided, along with an estimated range the student is likely to score on the ACT test in eleventh or twelfth grades if he/she continues on the same academic path.
- PLAN is ordered and administered by schools or school districts. The guidance counselor at the school may know whether PLAN is offered to tenth-grade students in that school.
- PLAN includes an interest inventory that asks questions about the types of work tasks students would/would not like to do. This career exploration component is designed to stimulate students’ thinking about future plans and helps them explore personally relevant career options.
- PLAN standards, like all ACT College Readiness Standards, are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
- Students who take PLAN earn higher average scores on the ACT test than those who do not.
The individual score report provided to students and their families indicates for each of the four subject areas:
- How many questions were answered correctly
- How many questions were omitted (there is no penalty for guessing, so an omitted item is marked as incorrect)
- How many questions were answered incorrectly
- Prescriptive suggestions on how to improve each of the key skills measured by PLAN
- How the student’s PLAN score in each subject area compares to established benchmark scores (below / at / above) indicating the likelihood of being ready for first-year college courses