3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Do pre-act scores accurately determine ACT scores?

What is a good pre-act score? I took the Pre-ACT in late march without any practice. What percent of people score at each level (ie 23, 27, 30, 32, 35, etc)? Does the pre-act accurately determine how well you will do when you take the ACT? I scored a 25 on the pre-act, is it realistic to aim for a 33-34 when I practice/prep and take the official ACT?


Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

The Pre-ACT is just as accurate in predicting future ACT performance as the PSAT in predicting future SAT performance. ACT.org and Collegeboard have millions and millions of tests in their database to compare and analyze so if you do well on either the Pre-ACT or PSAT, the probabilities are very high that you are going to do well on the ACT or SAT.


The Pre-ACT gives you a range of possible ACT scores so let's use your example of 25 Pre-ACT, you might have received a range score of 26-29 for your ACT, that's the 2nd set of numbers on your Pre-ACT report.

What that means is that if you are on target for lower than 33-34 ACT score given where you are right now. If you don't change your test preparation, you are in the 26-29 range. I can't read your report but a 25 Pre-ACT is like an 85% percentile score if you are in 11th grade and a 90% percentile score if you are in 10th grade. If I understand the PreACT tables correctly, you'd need a 31-32 Pre-ACT score to be in that 98%-99% range that a 33-34 ACT score is in.

With lots of focus this summer you may get to that 98-99% percentile score but it will require that you set aside most of the summer to focus on test prep like 5 days a week for a few hours a day and then take a practice test every Saturday so you can replicate the testing environment as close to what it's like. Take your Sat AM test in an empty room with a mask and have a bottle of water. The closer you keep to the schedule of test times and breaks, you'll be better prepared than the other students taking the test. So we are talking about 20 hours a week.

When you are consistently getting 33s and 34 composites on your practice tests, you are ready to take your first real test. You don't want to take the real one more than 3 times, preferably twice. After your first real exam, you will immediately know if you were prepared or not. If you score a 31 or 32, then you have to find different tools and learning methods. I was getting 33s and 34s on the practice tests and got a 33 twice after that in real testing. So I was stuck. Then my dad and I decided to pay the full subscription to SuperTutorTVs online course and it made the difference. I got my target 99.9%+ score and submitted that.

So yes, you can get your score up past the range that is on your PreACT report but it's not going to happen by osmosis because you are going to be 1 grade smarter next year. It will require a serious commitment like going to a job every day. It is also important that you discuss your plans if you choose to address this summer with your parents or guardians so they understand why you are doing this and you have their full support and encouragement to accomplish this goal. 99% of HS students only apply to college once so if you feel that submitting a high ACT is paramount to you, then use my tips they worked for me. (I also used the College Panda series, Erica Meltzer Reading book, and multiple years of the Official ACT test book because they have practice tests, you can search on Reddit for old tests as well).

Good luck.

3 years ago

Hey, so while things like pre-act or psat are good guidelines, please do t use it to judge your potential, rather as a tool to help you improve your weak points and understand your strengths. But with experience, I have noticed that consistent scores in psat and prw-act are pretty close to your score on the real thing (psat is out if 1520 so if gives you an score range which is usually close)

3 years ago

I took the pre-ACT without studying or anything and got a 29. But now I'm trying to use Khan Academy to study and resources like fiveable.com

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works