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Recently, ACT launched a new test, the Pre-ACT.
The idea is similar to the PSAT: Give students a preview of the experience of taking the real test, and thus help them prepare for the college entrance examination.
Following are nine important facts that students and parents should know.
1. Similar but Shorter: The PreACT closely mirrors the ACT, but is shorter. While the regular ACT is 2 hours and 55 minutes long (3 hours 35 minutes if you add the Writing section), the PreACT is only 1 hour and 55 minutes long.
2. Sections: The PreACT has the same four multiple-choice sections as the regular ACT: English, Math, Reading, and Science. There is no Writing section.
3. Scoring: Both exams will be scored on a 1 to 36 scale.
4. Cheaper: The PreACT is $12 per student rather than $15 for the PSAT.
5. Flexible Scheduling: Schools can also administer the PreACT whenever they want during the school year, whereas the PSAT has a specific October testing date with only one alternate date available.
6. Difficulty Level: The questions on the exam will be questions from past ACTs that have been reformulated, so the difficulty level of the test is on par with the regular ACT. The point of the test is to help students get a better sense of where they would score on the real ACT and how much more they need to prepare before taking it.
7. College Planning: There's more to the PreACT than practicing for the ACT. PreACT test-takers will be asked to provide information on their interests, the courses they plan to take in high school and their expected college major. The idea is to help parents and counselors start important conversations related to college and careers.
8. No Competition--Just Practice: Unlike the PSAT (NMSQT), the PreACT has no scholarship competition. Its sole purpose is to prepare students for the ACT; scores will not have any direct effects on the college admissions process. It's really just a practice tool.
9. For the 10th grader: Taking the PreACT as a 10th-grader might help a student determine what he or she has to do to get ready for the ACT.