The EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT exams are parts of ACT’s Educational Planning and Assessment System known as EPAS. This is one of the assessment systems schools use to track student progress on college and career readiness skills. Below you will find important information about how to interpret the meaning of the scores on EPAS exams. We hope that by providing this information students and their families can have crucial conversations about post high school plans and academic preparation while still at York High School.
Students in grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 take one of the EPAS exams in both the fall and the spring each year. The EXPLORE is given in the fall of 8th grade; the PLAN is given in the fall of 10th grade; and the ACT is given in the spring of 11th grade. These exams are scored by ACT, and ACT generates a report which District 205 provides to families. All other EPAS exams are scored locally. The most noticeable difference between nationally and locally scored exams is that the results for the nationally scored exams offer greater detail about how the score on the assessment relates to career paths and suggested coursework. The locally scored exams are not accompanied by the same detailed reports, but they do provide a score for each of the tested areas as well as an overall Composite Score. These scores are sent to each family and can be used to measure student progress.
All three of the EPAS assessments are scored in a similar way and measure similar College Readiness Skills. Unlike the ACT which has a maximum score of 36, the PLAN has a maximum score of 32, and the EXPLORE has a maximum score of 25. All three exams provide a score in the four tested areas (English, Reading, Science, Math) and a Composite Score. The Composite Score is an average of all of the other sub-scores. The Composite Score is used by educational institutions to determine overall achievement, and in many cases, placement.
Though every student works at a different pace, ACT predicts that a student’s Composite Score will increase by 2-3 points between the EXPLORE in 8th grade and the PLAN in the fall of 10th grade. Similarly, they predict that a student’s Composite Score will increase by 2-3 points between the PLAN in the fall of 10th grade and the ACT in the spring of 11th grade. These ranges should provide insight about the kind of progress that ACT predicts a student should make over the course of his or her high school career.
On this site, you will find local and national EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT score “norms” expressed as percentile ranges. The numbers in the unshaded columns indicate the percentile associated with that score. For example, if a student scores a 20 Composite on the PLAN, he or she is in the 80th percentile of students who take this test nationally; he or she is also in the 62nd percentile of students who take the PLAN at York (meaning a score that is at or above 62% of the students taking the exam).
Part of the overall school improvement plan at York focuses on the College Readiness Skills measured by these tests. In addition to providing a rich and diverse curriculum, each core and elective class provides instruction and practice in the skill areas associated with ACT’s EPAS testing series. With the rich and rigorous curriculum that we offer, along with our students’ hard work and diligence, we expect that our performance results will meet and exceed the targeted growth measures outlined by ACT.