The PreACT is a practice exam for the ACT test, providing a similar testing environment, benchmarks in core subjects, and predictive scores. Two test levels are available, one for 8th and 9th graders, and one for 10th graders. Both tests are the same length of time, while the PreACT 8/9 has slightly fewer questions.

PreACT 8/9
8th/9th graders
English | 40 questions
Math | 38 questions
Reading | 25 questions
Science | 30 questions

English | 45 questions
Math  | 36 questions
Reading | 25 questions
Science  | 30 questions

Several states mandate one or more of these tests as college readiness benchmarks. Because colleges don’t use the PreACT in admissions, taking these tests can be less stressful, while providing a practice opportunity and a way to identify subjects/topics for additional preparation.

Schools select specific dates to give the PreACT 8/9 and PreACT within large date windows. Both the PreACT 8/9 and PreACT tests can be administered between September-June and can be given in one day or over multiple days.

How to Register 

Individual students cannot register directly through the ACT website. Local school districts contract with ACT to offer either test. Many school districts cover the costs of this test for all students. Homeschool students should register with their neighborhood school. 

Scoring the Tests

Scoring methods for each test align with the standard ACT 1-36 scale, with 30 as the highest possible score on the PreACT 8/9 and 35 as the highest possible score on the PreACT. The 2021-22 national mean scores are below. 

How to Prepare  

  • PreACT 8/9 scores of 23 or PreACT scores of 25 are considered the 90th percentile.
  • Practice over the summer and fall. Take the OTC Grade 8/9 course or do lots of practice questions. Free practice tests are also available from ACT
  • Time your practice test sections to help make sure you are pacing yourself correctly. 
  • Take a full practice test, and simulate testing conditions—quiet area, timed breaks, etc. 
  • Attend one or more OnToCollege free Live! Online Help sessions and bring your questions for our master tutor to answer.