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Educational Planning and Assessment

ACT's EPAS® Educational Planning and Assessment System was developed in response to the need for all students to be prepared for high school and the transitions they make after graduation.

The EPAS system provides a longitudinal, systematic approach to educational and career planning, assessment, instructional support, and evaluation. The system focuses on the integrated, higher-order thinking skills students develop in grades K-12 that are important for success both during and after high school.

EPAS focuses on a number of key transition points that young people face:

  • 8th/9th grade—Preparing for high school studies
  • 10th grade—Planning and preparing for college and the workplace
  • 11th/12th grade—Being ready for life after high school

EPAS is unique in that its programs can be mixed and matched in ways that meet the needs of individual schools, districts, or states. However, each program includes the four components that form the foundation of EPAS:

  • Student Planning—Process through which students can identify career and educational goals early and then pursue those goals.
  • Instructional Support—Support materials and services to help classroom teachers prepare their students for the coming transitions. This component reinforces the direct link between the content and skills measured in the EPAS programs and those that are taught in high school classrooms. See also the College Readiness Standards.
  • Assessment—Student achievement is assessed at three key transition points in EPAS—8th/9th, 10th, and 11th/12th grades—so that academic progress can be monitored to ensure that each student is prepared to reach his/her post-high school goals.
  • Evaluation—An academic information monitoring service that provides teachers and administrators with a comprehensive analysis of academic growth between EPAS levels.

These four components of EPAS work together to respond to the needs of students, teachers, and school administrators in concrete and effective ways. EPAS helps:


  • Identify career and educational options
  • Establish goals
  • Determine courses needed to fulfill plans
  • Evaluate educational/career progress

Teachers and Counselors:

  • Effectively guide students
  • Advise the best course of study based on student plans
  • Deliver effective instruction
  • Evaluate student progress
  • Evaluate instruction

School and District Administrators:

  • Document success in meeting academic standards
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of specific educational programs
  • Monitor progress toward desired educational outcomes
  • Provide career and educational planning, instructional support, assessment, and longitudinal evaluation
  • Verify student progress from grades 8 through 12