Why Take The PLAN?

What Is The PLAN?

The PLAN is a practice exam for high school students, usually 10th graders, which prepares them for the ACT; it is analogous to the PSAT for the SAT.  Taking the PLAN, as well as several other practice exams, can help students prepare for the ACT.  It familiarizes them with the test format, and allows them to learn which areas they need to improve upon.

Should I Prepare For The PLAN?

Preparing for the PLAN is not mandatory.  After all, it is a practice for the larger, more important ACT test anyway.  Nonetheless, it might be a good idea to skim through an ACT preparation book a few days beforehand, especially the essay portion, just to get a grasp of what to expect.  The PLAN is a relatively good indicatory of your performance on the ACT and helps you figure out which parts of the test you need improvement in.  Additionally, the ACT is a relatively long test and the PLAN can teach you how to pace yourself without the stress of an actual test score.

How Should I Sign-up For The PLAN?

Signing up for the PLAN can be done one of two ways:  you can either ask your high school counselor and they usually have a sign up process or you can sign up online but this usually means you won’t be able to take it at your school and might have to take it in a neighboring county.  Always ask your counselor first because they’ll have the best information on where to take it.  The cost is around $12 but may vary depending on the facility costs of where you take it.

Are My PLAN Scores Factored Into College Admissions Decisions?

Unlike the PSAT, the PLAN is not associated with a merit system.  There is no award for scoring lower or higher.  It is solely a practice test that is seen by you and your counselor.  Additionally, your intended colleges that you write down on the test will not see your PLAN scores, while on the PSAT, you can opt to send your scores into those colleges.

What Are Some Additional Benefits Of The PLAN Test?

The PLAN includes a questionnaire section at the end of the test.  It has a series of questions that, combined with your test scores, can tell you what kind of job or vocation that might best suit you.  You can also indicate your future college plans such as whether you might want to attend a four-year college after high school or if you would rather attend community college.  The score report then generates a skill set table that shows you whether you are on the right track toward accomplishing those goals.  It gives you an idea of how you are performing compared to other students with the same education goals as you.  It will tell you, for example, whether your writing skills are up to par or if you need to focus on your math skills in order to reach your goal.  These are found in the “College Readiness Benchmark Scores” of your score report.

Are There Any Downsides To The PLAN Test?

There are no downsides in taking the PLAN test.  It is a great preparation if you plan on taking the ACT in the future.  Additionally, the PLAN gives you a lot more information than just your test score: it lets you know how well you’re doing in comparison to other high school students, what you can improve on, and gives you a practice run for the ACT.  I highly recommend it to any high school student who wants the extra practice and to any student who might need some help deciding on their career paths.

  • For information on the actual test itself visit this post: The PLAN Test

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Clara Ma

Clara Ma

Clara is a third year student attending the University of California, Berkeley currently pursuing a double major in Political Science and Media Studies. Her school activities include being a captain on the Cal Dance Team, being a Campus Ambassador, as well as being part of THRIVE Dance Company. She enjoys living vicariously through others on the Internet, keeping up with pop culture on Tumblr, and watching a copious number of television shows (namely Sherlock and How I Met Your Mother).