ACT Test Scores

Guide to ACT Test Scores, Composite Range, and Results

act-test-scoresWhy ACT Results & Test Scores Are Important

ACT (American College Testing) exam is a standardized test taken by high school students as part of a university or college admission requirement. It is a university or college entrance exam used to measure high school student’s readiness for college. The exam provides a common data point that universities and colleges can use to compare applicants.

The university will use the ACT standardized test scores with high school GPA and extracurricular activities to decide on an applicant’s admission.

Interestingly, the importance of the ACT scores varies from institution to institution. The student will be assessed in four sections, including English Math, Reading, and Science, but there is an optional writing section, which test-takers will not be scored on.

What are ACT Test Scores?

The ACT test scores are the results you get after sitting for all sections of the exam. For every question answered correctly, the student will receive a point, but there is no penalty for wrong answers. The number of correct answers (raw scores) will be converted into scale scores, which will have a similar meaning for all the ACT forms regardless of the date taken.

Usually, the composite score and each ACT test results range from 1 to 36. It is vital to state that the composite score will be the average of test scores, which they round off to the nearest whole number. For the Writing test, two readers will read and scores the essay based on four domains.

What Does my ACT Score Mean?

On the ACT score report, you will have the composite score, and on the right, there is an ACT College Readiness Benchmark and improve comments for each section. Benchmarks are ACT scores of subject areas representing the achievement levels necessary for students to get a 50% chance of getting a b or more or about 75% of getting a C.

Most importantly, Benchmarks are average course placement values for the institutions and represent a set of expectations.

ACT Score Chart

Here’s an ACT score chart that shows what ACT scores are good, poor, and competitive for college acceptance.

1 - 19Below AveragePoor
20 - 25AverageGood
26 - 29Above AverageCompetitive
30 - 35HighestBest

When Do ACT Scores Come Out?

When your ACT results are out, it is vital to understand what good scores are and if it good enough to get you to your college of choice. Usually, ACT results are out around ten days after completing the test, and they are available online.

Since ACT exams are taken on Saturdays, your results will be out on the second Tuesday after the test date.

How Long Does it Take to Get ACT Scores?

In some instances, the results might take longer than ten days, but the ACT website will offer a range of possible dates when you expect the results. The latest you can receive the results is after six to seven weeks.

Sometimes your scores might delay as ACT Inc. gets your scores together, so don’t be alarmed if your test results are late by a week. Most importantly, the ACT writing scores will come out two weeks after the multiple-choice scores release.

How to Check ACT Score

When your results are available, you can find your act score in your MyACT account online. These scores are typically only processed on business days, so they won’t be published over the weekend.

It’s easy to check your ACT score. Just log in to your MyACT account and click view scores.

ACT Score Reporting Dates

ACT scores are published and available to see in your MyACT account during these reporting timeframes. Find your testing date to see when your scores will be available.

National ACT Test Date Score Reporting Timeframe
February 6February 19 - April 2
April 17April 27 - June 11
June 12June 22 - August 6
July 17July 27 - September 10

Who needs the ACT Results?

Once the results are out, they will take almost a week before ACT Inc. sends the score report to your school. Universities and colleges need your ACT test results to process your admission. After the release of the results, ACT Inc. will send them to the institutions. Usually, colleges receive the score reports after every two weeks, but in some instances, it is frequently.

Sometimes the schools you indicated to receive one of your free test score reports will get the ACT scores even before you do, depending on how frequently the institution receives the ACT scores. Most importantly, your test scores will not be available to the schools until the whole test is scored.

Therefore, for students who will take the writing section, the results will not be sent until after the writing scores determination. Sometimes if your college application deadline is less than seven weeks, you can order for priority report, which will take two working days for the results to be sent to the institution.

How Do I send My ACT Test Score to Colleges?

ACT scores are important when applying for college admission since most institutions require students to submit the ACT score. Universities and colleges receive several applications each year, and thus they use the ACT score to level the playing field and make acceptance decisions. Therefore, your ACT score is very important because it will contribute to your admission chances.

Besides college application, your ACT scores are important when applying for scholarships, especially merit-based scholarships that colleges and universities grant during the application process. Sometimes the scholarships might be from local, regional, or state programs where ACT scores, grades, and academic achievements impact eligibility.

Similarly, the ACT score gives you a chance to demonstrate your academic progress even if your GPA was lower than expected. Usually, it will be impossible to boost or change your GPA after two years; thus, the CTA will be a chance to show how far you have come.

How is the ACT Test Scored?

ACT Test Score Range

The ACT test score range is graded on a scale of 1-36. For every right answer to the questions, you will receive a point, and the total number of questions you get will be your raw score. The raw score is then converted into a 1-36 scale score.

To get the overall ACT score or composite score, you have to calculate the four sections’ average score and round them to whole numbers.

ACT Composite Score

The ACT composite score is also scaled between 1 and 36. You can use your target raw score in determining the number of questions you can correctly answer.

ACT Score Breakdown

Here is a breakdown of different ranges that you can get on the ACT. Check to see where your score falls and if it will be enough to get into your college of choice.

  • Composite ACT score range: 1 – 36
  • National average ACT score: 20.8
  • Average score: 20 – 22
  • Good score: 24 – 26
  • Competitive score: 28 – 30
  • Highest score: 30+
  • Perfect, Max score: 36

What are ACT Test National Ranks?

ACT national ranks help you compare your ACT scores with those of other test-takers. The numbers show the cumulative percentage of test-takers that scored below or at a given score.

The ACT provides a percentile with a ranking of the composite score and also for the four sections. It is not graded out of 100, but instead, it is a comparison between test-takers.

For instance, if you are in the 75th percentile, it implies you scored the same or more than 75% of test-takers.

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