EXPLORE/PLAN - Fall 2013 Administration Archive

Effective SY2014-2015: Please note that although ACT’s EXPLORE and PLAN assessments were previously funded by ISBE, these are no longer available, per ACT.


We are pleased to announce the availability of EXPLORE/PLAN for all 9th and 10th grade students as we work to further our reform agenda and move toward a growth model of accountability. As a first step, in January 2012, ISBE approved the use of a value table model to calculate growth. Additionally, we are taking steps to ensure our continuous system of assessments align to college and career ready benchmarks. The new high school assessment plan will provide schools and districts a complete picture of student progress from grades 3 through 11 and provide data for the calculation of student growth.


The opportunity to participate in these assessments will be the only state-funded path to administer the EXPLORE/PLAN for the 2013-2014 school year. Test administration must take place between September 16 and November 8, 2013. School districts are encouraged to complete registration to administer EXPLORE in grade 9 and PLAN in grade 10. The information provided below will outline this opportunity for high schools. The state is able to pay only for the administration of EXPLORE at grade 9 and PLAN at grade 10.

Schools and districts will receive copies of student-level reports, school-level reports, and district-level reports. These reports will include academic achievement data in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science, as well as data on students’ career aspirations. These data will be valuable in planning programs for individual and groups of students. School- and district-level data will include student performance broken down by subgroups as well as comparisons of students’ curricula and performance on the EXPLORE or PLAN test.

These assessments:



August 12, 2013 ACT will begin to accept orders from Districts for materials and Pre-ID labels.

If you plan to begin testing during the week of…
Order materials and Pre-ID labels no later than…
September 16, 2013
August 26, 2013
September 23, 2013
September 2, 2013 (Labor Day)
September 30, 2013
September 9, 2013
October 7, 2013
September 16, 2013
October 14, 2013
September 23, 2013
October 21, 2013
September 30, 2013
October 28, 2013
October 7, 2013
November 4, 2013*
October 14, 2013 (Columbus Day)
*October 18, 2013, is the last day ACT will accept any orders.

Additional Key Dates:

  Process for Ordering Test Materials

To participate in the Illinois EXPLORE and PLAN state funded contract, all orders must be placed by the district under the State Contract Cycle. Following the Ordering Guide will insure that orders are placed correctly. Orders placed through the National Ordering Cycle will be billed to the school district and will not be part of the state project. If a school district has ordered EXPLORE for grade 9 or PLAN for grade 10 through the National Ordering Cycle, but has not yet tested, please contact ACT Customer Services at 877-789-2925 to learn how to insure correct scoring and billing under the contract.

Download Ordering Guide PDF format

  Process for Ordering Pre-ID Labels

To participate in the Illinois EXPLORE and PLAN state funded contract all answer documents returned to be scored must contain a student’s nine-digit state-assigned ID. To facilitate this, districts may order Pre-ID labels directly from ACT (preferred) or may hand grid all answer documents.

Pre-ID Directions (ACT Website)

  Additional Resources for 2013-14

For further information, please contact Andy Metcalf at 866-317-6034, or email at