Review: ACT Explore and Plan

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You may remember that several weeks ago I told you about ACT Advantage’s Discover program.  Today, I want to share with you details about the other two components of ACT Advantage’s comprehensive college and career readiness program: Explore and Plan.

From ACT Advantage:

The Explore and Plan programs were designed to give 8th and 10th graders a baseline assessment of academic progress.  Assessing students at these stages allows parents to identify areas of need early and make timely interventions.

With both the Explore and Plan packets, you’ll receive a sample ACT test question booklets and answer keys so that you can set up a life-like testing environment at home to see how your child would do in an actual testing situation.  You administer the practice test with the same instructions and time constraints as the actual ACT.  Because the answer keys are included, you can immediately determine your child’s results.


National norms are including in the sample materials so that you can compare your child’s performance with others of his age/grade level, providing you with instant feedback on your child’s strengths and weaknesses in the following test areas:

  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science

Also included in the packet is the booklet, College Readiness Standards to help you understand your child’s score and to provide ideas for improvement in tested area.


I’ve known a lot of homeschooled kids who’ve gone into standardized testing situations completely unprepared for how to take the test — not a lack of knowledge of the material, but a general lack of experience with how to complete a standardized test.  For that reason alone, this type of preparation just makes sense to me.

Additionally, having an idea of your child’s areas of strengths and weaknesses before going into an actual test situation can provide invaluable insight into where you may wish to invest your one-on-one homeschooling efforts or where your child may need more practice. 

I know a lot of material I’ve seen for high school students is focused on the SAT, rather than the ACT, however, to me, whichever test your student ultimately winds up taking, having practiced the test-taking skills and having a baseline with which to compare (it’s relatively easy to find charts to compare equivalency scores from both tests) is time well spent.

The Explore and Plan packets are $22.95 each, making this a fairly reasonably-priced tool for assessing where your child is now and receiving tips for how to get him where you’d like him to be by the time he has to take the actual test.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary.

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