The PLAN Test

The PLAN test is a standardized test that students typically take during their sophomore year of high school.  The makers of the ACT test also created the PLAN test.  Similar to the ACT, the PLAN test evaluates students in the following 4 areas: English, Math, Reading, and Science.  The total possible score that students can receive on the test is 32.

The PLAN test is broken down into the following specific subject areas:

English (30 Minutes):

Usage/Mechanics – 30 Questions

Rhetorical Skills – 20 Questions

Math (40 Minutes):

Pre-Algebra/Algebra – 22 Questions

Geometry – 18 Questions

Reading (20 Minutes):

Reading Comprehension – 25 Questions

Science (25 Minutes):

Science Reasoning – 30 Questions

An Overview of Topics

English – The usage/mechanics portion of the PLAN test measures students’ understanding of standard written English (punctuation, grammar and usage, and sentence structure.  The rhetorical skills portion of this test measures a student’s use of strategy, organization, and style in writing.

Math – The math portion of the PLAN test focus on the skills learned during a student’s first and second year of high school (pre-algebra, first-year algebra, and geometry).  The test does not focus on a student’s ability to memorize formulas, but rather focuses on a student’s mathematical reasoning (i.e. the ability to solve problems).  A calculator can be used on this portion of the exam.

Reading – The reading portion of the PLAN test measures a student’s reading comprehension skills.  Specifically, the test focus on the following skills: referring to details in a passage, drawing conclusions, making comparisons and generalizations.

Science – The science portion of the PLAN test measures a student’s scientific reasoning skills.  These skills are also learned during the first or second year of high school.  Subject areas on this test include: biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, and meteorology.  Students are not allowed to use a calculator on this portion of the exam.

Interpreting Scores

When you receive your PLAN test scores, it will be between a 1 and 32.  The PLAN test takes the number of questions you got right and translates that number into a score between 1 and 32.  This score will tell you how well you performed on the test.

You will receive a score for each area of the PLAN test (English, Math, Science, and Reading), as well as a composite score.  Your composite score is simply an average of all test scores.

Next to each score, you’ll find a percentage.  This percentage tells you the percent of students who scored either at or below your score.  For example, if you see 75% next to the Science section, this means that you scored as high as or higher than 83% of the students who took the PLAN test.

What Does This Mean?

The PLAN test scores can be used to predict how well you are likely to perform on the ACT as a high school junior or senior if you continue to work hard in the classroom.  On your PLAN score report, you will receive your estimated ACT composite score range.  However, keep in mind that these scores are only estimates.  If you improve your study habits and take more challenging classes, then it is possible to improve your scores.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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