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PLAN for the ACT

PLAN for the ACT

By Bridget Kulla

September 04, 2008

What is the PLAN?

The PLAN is a curriculum-based test that covers material commonly taught in the classroom. It measures what you have learned and how well you can use that knowledge. Students typically take the PLAN during their sophomore year of high school in preparation for the ACT, which is taken in the junior or senior year.



The PLAN contains four sections:

  • 30-minute English section
  • 40-minute mathematics section
  • 20-minute reading section
  • 25-minute science section

The test includes 145 multiple-choice questions and takes about one hour and 55 minutes to complete, not including breaks. The content of the PLAN is similar to that on the ACT.

Why Take the PLAN?

The PLAN helps predict how well you will do on the ACT. It lets you become familiar with the format of the ACT and allows you to see which subjects you need to focus on to improve your ACT scores.

As the test name suggests, the PLAN also gets students thinking about their plans for life after high school. When you take the PLAN, you are asked to list the courses you intend to take during your junior and senior years. Your PLAN score report then compares your plans with their recommendations.

The PLAN also gives you insight about how prepared you will be for college. Your score report includes College Readiness Benchmark Scores that show areas where you are succeeding and areas where you need improvement in order to be ready for college-level work. These results can help you plan which courses you should take for your junior and senior years.

When you complete the PLAN, you are asked to choose a career area that interests you and complete an interest inventory. Your results are then plotted on a World-of-Work Map, which suggests career areas that might interest you.

How to Do Well on the PLAN

Prepare for the PLAN as you would any other standardized test. Go into the test well rested and be sure to read all the test instructions. Pace yourself and try not to spend too much time on any one question. Keep in mind that there is no penalty for incorrect answers, so a guess is better than no answer at all.

When to Take the PLAN

Test dates and times are different for every school. Contact your guidance counselor about the time, date, location and how to register. Unlike the ACT, you cannot register for the PLAN online.


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