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Using EXPLORE®, PLAN® and ACT® test scores

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Using EXPLORE and PLAN to Get Ready for College
This five-minute video illustrates how ACT's EXPLORE and PLAN programs can help students get ready for college.

Steve was planning on a pro baseball career without working hard on academics, until he took EXPLORE. Like most students, he saw tests as something to take, get over and move quickly past. But his counselor helped explain his EXPLORE information and he began to understand that he would need to work hard in his classes to get into college and succeed. Baseball skills would not be enough.

ACT's EXPLORE and PLAN give students information to help plan for the future. The tests help students prepare for college and for the ACT.

EXPLORE, PLAN and the ACT were designed to work together to help students make educational and career plans starting in 8th grade and take them through high school and beyond. Most students take EXPLORE in 8th grade or at the beginning of 9th grade. PLAN is for 10th graders and the ACT is for 11th and 12th graders.

Each of these programs includes a test with four parts—English, mathematics, reading, and science—and each offers an interest inventory. The inventory leads to career information for students based on their interests, abilities and work preferences.

Students can use the test scores to find out how well they know the subject matter and what they need to learn next. This will help them prepare for college and results from EXPLORE and PLAN will help them score better on the ACT.

The best-kept secret is that students can get a predicted score range for the next test. A student's EXPLORE results include a predicted score range for PLAN. This predicted score range assumes that the student will take additional coursework and have some academic growth. The same thing goes for the PLAN results. Students get a predicted ACT score range on the PLAN report, again, assuming additional coursework and academic growth.

Score information can be used by the student and parents, not just by the counselor and admissions officers.