Is 33 a Good ACT Score?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Group of students taking an exam on their desks.

Is 33 a Good ACT Score?

If you received a 33 on the ACT, you’re wondering how you compare to other students and if a 33 is good enough to get into college.

The ACT is widely used by colleges and universities in the United States as a part of their admissions process. High school juniors and seniors typically take it, and scores help colleges determine which students to admit and place students in appropriate courses. So, Is 33 a good ACT score?

Four areas make up the ACT: English, Math, Reading, and Science. A scale from 1 to 36 is used to grade each subject. The average of your four section scores makes up your overall score.

Here’s what you need to know about a 33 ACT score, what percentile you fall into, and which colleges you can attend.

Getting the Facts Right: Is 33 a good ACT score?

Is 33 a good ACT score? Yes, a 33 is a good ACT score! The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible score. It places you in the top 98th percentile nationally out of the 2 million ACT takers. The score indicates that you performed exceptionally well on the English, Math, Reading, and Science sections of the test.

That being said, whether a 33 is a “good” score for you personally depends on the colleges or universities you are considering applying to and their specific admission requirements.

Group of students taking an exam.

Some highly selective schools may expect scores in the 34-36 range, while others may consider a 33 to be a very competitive score. It’s important to research the admissions requirements of the schools you’re interested in to determine whether your ACT score meets their expectations.

What is the benefit of getting a good score on the ACT?

What is the advantage of getting a high ACT score? After passing the ACT, you can apply to a wide range of colleges in your field of study. A 33 on the ACT expands your list of schools to consider. The ACT assesses your academic strengths as well as your critical thinking abilities.

An ACT score of more than 33 gives a student an advantage over other applicants vying for college admissions.

Young woman writing on her table.

A high ACT score can give students access to lucrative scholarships if they seek financial aid. With an ACT score well above average, a student’s application will rise to the top of the long line of college applicants.

What schools can you get into with an ACT score of 33?

With an ACT score of 33, what schools can you get into? Some of the country’s top colleges require a student to have an ACT score of 33 or higher to apply.

Here’s a list of colleges who want to hear from you if you have an ACT score of 33:

Boston College

Boston College is a private Jesuit school located in the heart of the historic and beautiful city of Chestnut Hill, Mass. First founded in 1863, Boston College is classified as an R1 research university. However, its official title still uses the word “college” to honor its rich history as a small liberal arts college.

Tufts University

Located on the border of Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts, and founded in 1852, Tufts University is a prestigious American private research University. Not only does Tufts University consistently rank near the top of the United States is top universities in major education publications, but it also offers an incredibly diverse list of undergraduate and graduate programs.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is consistently ranked as one of the most selective schools in the United States. It is one of the oldest educational institutions in the entire state of California, and it has its headquarters in Los Angeles.

New York University

New York University (NYU) is one of the most prestigious private higher education institutions in the United States. Its history dates back to 1831, when Albert Gallatin, the head of the US Department of Treasury, proposed establishing an easily accessible, innovative university in the country’s most populous city.

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia is what UVA stands for.  It is a public institution with a total enrollment of 17,299 undergraduates (as of fall 2021), a suburban setting, and a campus size of 1,688 acres. A semester-based academic calendar is utilized. The University of Virginia is ranked #25 among National Universities in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges. In-state tuition and fees are $21,381 while tuition and fees for non-residents are $56,837.

Georgetown University

Georgetown University was established in 1789 as a private institution. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,598 students (fall 2021), an urban setting, and a campus size of 104 acres. The academic calendar is semester-based.

University of Rochester

The University of Rochester was founded in 1850 as a private institution. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,570 students (fall 2021), an urban setting, and a campus size of 707 acres. The academic calendar is semester-based. The University of Rochester is ranked #36 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2022-2023 edition.

Amherst College

Amherst College is a private college that was established in 1821. It has 1,971 undergraduate students (fall 2021), a rural setting, and a campus size of 1,000 acres. The academic calendar is semester-based. Amherst College is ranked #2 in National Liberal Arts Colleges in the Best Colleges 2022-2023 edition.

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University was established in 1749 as a private institution. It has 1,857 undergraduate students (fall 2021), a city setting, and a campus size of 430 acres. It follows a 4-4-1 academic calendar. Washington and Lee University is ranked #11 in National Liberal Arts Colleges in the Best Colleges 2022-2023 edition.

Should you retake the ACT?

Is it necessary to retake the ACT? Whether or not to retake the ACT to improve your score depends on a few factors, such as your target score, your current score, and the requirements of the colleges or universities you’re interested in.

If you feel that a 33 ACT score does not reflect your abilities and you’re confident that you can improve your score, it may be worth retaking the exam. However, if you’re already satisfied with your score and it meets the requirements of the colleges or universities you’re interested in, retaking the ACT may not be optional.

View of a hand writing.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the potential downsides of retaking the ACT. You’ll have to devote more time and money to studying and retaking the exam, and there’s always the chance that your score will fall rather than rise.

Ultimately, the decision to retake the ACT should be based on your goals and circumstances. It’s a good idea to talk to your guidance counselor, college admissions officers, or a test prep professional to help you make an informed decision.

How can you improve your ACT score?

What can you do to raise your ACT score? The ACT is an important standardized test that many students take as part of the college admissions process. Here are some tips to help you get a high ACT score:

Familiarize yourself with the test format

Familiarizing yourself with the test format is an important first step in preparing for the ACT. The test is divided into four multiple-choice sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science, and an optional Writing section.

Each section is timed, and the entire test takes about 3 hours and 35 minutes to complete (including the Writing section).

  • The English section tests your knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. You will have 45 minutes to answer 75 questions.
  • The Math section tests your knowledge of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. You will have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions.
  • The Reading section tests your ability to comprehend and analyze written passages. You will have 35 minutes to answer 40 questions.
  • The Science section tests your ability to interpret and analyze data in the context of scientific concepts. You will have 35 minutes to answer 40 questions.
  • The optional Writing section requires you to write an essay in response to a given prompt. You will have 40 minutes to complete this section.

By understanding the structure of the test, you can plan your time accordingly and develop a study plan that is tailored to the specific sections you need to improve on.

Additionally, understanding the test format can help reduce test anxiety and make you feel more confident on test day.

Practice, practice, practice

Take practice tests to get familiar with the types of questions that will be on the ACT, and to get comfortable with the timing of the test. You can find practice tests online or in test prep books.

Here are some tips for effective practice:

  • Use official ACT practice tests: The best way to prepare for the ACT is to use official practice tests that are similar to the actual test. The ACT website offers several free practice tests that you can use to prepare.
  • Simulate test conditions: When you take a practice test, simulate test conditions as closely as possible. Use a timer, work in a quiet environment, and eliminate distractions.
  • Analyze your results: After taking a practice test, analyze your results to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This can help you develop a study plan that is tailored to your needs.

Identify your weaknesses

Use your practice test results to identify areas where you need to improve. Focus your studying on those areas.

  • Seek feedback from teachers or tutors: Ask your teachers or tutors for feedback on your performance and areas where you need improvement. They can identify areas where you are struggling or offer tips on improving.
  • Assess your own knowledge and skills: Take an honest assessment of your own knowledge and skills in each section of the test. Consider the topics that you feel confident in and those that you feel less confident in.

You can create a targeted study plan that focuses on improving your skills in those areas by identifying your weaknesses. This will help you to make the most of your study time and improve your overall ACT score.

Manage your time wisely

Managing your time wisely is crucial when it comes to the ACT, as the test is timed and you will have a limited amount of time to complete each section. Here are some tips to help you manage your time effectively:

  • Practice with timed tests: Take practice tests that are timed to get a feel for the pace you need to maintain during the actual test.
  • Use a watch: Bring a watch (that doesn’t beep) with you to the test and use it to keep track of your time. This can help you pace yourself and ensure that you have enough time to answer all the questions.
  • Answer easier questions first: Start by answering the easier questions first, as this will help you build momentum and give you more time to spend on the more difficult questions.
  • Skip difficult questions: If you come across a difficult question, skip it and come back to it later. Spending too much time on one question can throw off your timing for the entire section.
  • Budget your time: Budget your time for each section, and make sure that you are moving through the questions at a steady pace. For example, you should aim to complete the English section in 45 minutes, which gives you about 36 seconds per question.

Get plenty of rest the night before

Getting plenty of rest the night before the ACT is crucial for performing your best on the test.

Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, as this can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar: Avoid consuming caffeine and sugary foods in the evening, as they can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
  • Create a relaxing sleep environment: Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet, and consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to block out any distracting sounds.

Stay motivated

Staying motivated is an essential aspect of preparing for the ACT, as it can help you stay focused and committed to achieving your goals. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated throughout the preparation process:

  • Set goals: Set specific, measurable goals for your ACT preparation, such as achieving a certain score or improving your performance in a particular section.
  • Celebrate your progress: Celebrate your progress as you work towards your goals. Recognize and reward yourself for achieving milestones along the way, such as completing a practice test or mastering a difficult concept.
  • Stay positive: Keep a positive attitude and focus on your progress, rather than dwelling on mistakes or setbacks. Encourage yourself with positive self-talk and remind yourself of your strengths and abilities.

Stay motivated by setting small goals and rewarding yourself when you achieve them. Remember that improving your ACT score takes time and effort, but with the help of an expert, you can achieve your goals.

Students smiling at the camera.

Our team has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the college admissions process and is committed to assisting students in improving their ACT scores in order to gain admission to their desired schools.

AdmissionSight is ready to provide a hand

College admissions officers will compare your ACT scores to your high school GPA, courses you took, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. The significance of ACT scores in college admissions varies by school.

Students must submit a strong application to boost their chances of getting into their dream schools. Fortunately, college admissions experts like AdmissionSight are ready to guide students through the challenging process.

At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. On average, 75% of our students are admitted to an Ivy League university, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, and Caltech, one of the highest track records in the industry. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.