The Impact Of Having A Good ACT Score

February 8, 2023
By AdmissionSight

The Impact Of Having A Good ACT Score

The Impact Of Having A Good ACT Score

You can improve your chances of getting into elite institutions by having a high ACT score. Any ACT score in the 75th percentile or higher, or at least a 24, is generally considered to be a good score. Students should strive to achieve or score above the middle 50% of ACT scores at the universities of their choice.

What is a good ACT score?

What is a good ACT score? Well, a good ACT score makes you stand out from the bulk of test-takers. As a result, any composite score that is higher than the 50th percentile, or 19–20, might be regarded as being excellent.

However, a 20 is insufficient for admission at many selective universities. Because of this, it’s preferable to aim even higher, ideally for the top 25%, which corresponds to a composite score of about 24.

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. Therefore, you should strive for a score of around 24 on each part to attain a strong ACT score.

an answer sheet, a laptop and a calculator sprawled on a table

Percentiles allow students to see how their scores stack up against those of other test-takers. Based on percentiles, the following table displays a typical range of excellent ACT results. Keep in mind that percentiles can vary a little bit annually.

Percentile Composite English Math Reading Science
100 36 36 36 36 36
99 34-35 35 34-35 35-36 35
95 31 33-34 30-31 33-34 31
90 29 30-31 28 31-32 28
85 27 27-28 26 29-30 26
80 25-26 25 25 27 25
75 (good) 24 24 24 25 24
50 (median) 19-20 19 18 20 20

What is an average ACT score?

Now let’s put into consideration what an average ACT score is. The ACT exam is taken by more than a million high school students annually. Universities might compare student profiles for admission based on test scores. Successful test results also improve students’ chances of receiving scholarships.

The average score for this year was 19.8, according to the 2022 ACT report.

Your performance in comparison to other high school students around the nation heavily influences your score. For instance, a composite score of 31 or higher would have been required to place in the top 5% (the 95th percentile) of test takers.

  • Roughly 1.3 million students, or 36% of the 2022 graduating class from U.S. high schools, took the ACT.
  • The combined score for the entire country in 2022 was 19.8. It hasn’t been so low for at least the last three decades.
  • There may be a decline in interest in the ACT. Between 2012 and 2022, fewer high school graduates took the ACT, a decrease of 12 percentage points.
  • Since 2017, women have performed better than males overall.
  • Since 1970, men have outperformed women in math and science, topic by subject.
  • With an average composite score of 26.5, students in Massachusetts and California achieved the highest marks.

Based on your colleges, what is a good ACT score?

The idea of a good ACT score is relative because different colleges and universities have varying score requirements. In the end, it comes down to what your schools are looking for and how competitive their applicant pools are to determine whether a score may be deemed good. A score that is on par with the typical first-year student average at the universities you are applying to will be considered good for you.

a high school student studying

The middle 50% of entering students, which covers the 25th to 75th percentiles of scores, is what many universities report. The ideal score is one that is in the 75th percentile for your school. However, if it proves to be too challenging, try aiming for a location closer to the bottom of that range.

Look for a first-year class profile page or a statistics page on the school’s website to locate the middle 50% of its students. The school’s name can also be found by using the search term “ACT score range.”

Let’s use the example of applying to Emory University. The scores of enrolled students are reported by Emory on their first-year profile page. The middle 50%, based on the data, falls between 33 and 35. This indicates that if you score at least a 35 on the ACT, you will have a good chance of enrolling in Emory (assuming the rest of your application is just as impressive).

The types of ACT scores that schools look for in candidates vary greatly. More competitive universities frequently prefer scores in the 32–36 range, but less selective institutions frequently accept scores that are closer to the national average (21).

What is the highest ACT score?

You might be thinking, “What is the highest ACT score?” Actually, the ACT is graded on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 representing the highest score and 1 representing the lowest score.

The scores are determined in this manner.

The four obligatory portions of the ACT—Reading, English, Science, and Math—as well as one optional section make up the test (Writing). There is an essay prompt in the optional writing part.

When you finish the ACT, your raw score—the number of questions in the four compulsory sections that you successfully answered—is converted to your scaled score, which ranges from 1 to 36.

Is it possible to get the perfect ACT Score?

However, how many students actually receive a 36? On the ACT, only 0.313 percent of students get a 36.

Less than 3% of students overall receive a score of 34 or above. Don’t let this discourage you though; we’ll discuss how you can raise your score and get ready to do well.

Prepare for the ACTs

Do a lot of practice tests

How many practice exams should you take as you prepare for the exam? While there isn’t a set formula, many ACT and SAT students find that taking a practice exam every 10 hours of preparation (or around once per month) yields a good ACT score.

There will be a lot of test-specific material you need to master during your first coaching sessions. Before taking your first practice test, you should work with your instructor to familiarize yourself with all of the test’s sections. According to our research, this usually happens at or after 10 hours of coaching.

Evaluate practice exams

Following the receipt of those results, you must discuss your performance with your tutor, go through the sections and question types that are thought to be your weaker ones, and modify your test preparation strategy going forward.

Unidentified person solving a math problem while sitting on a table.

You should spend an additional 10 hours studying to hone your understanding and adjust how you respond to those questions. When you take your subsequent practice exam, your mistakes need to be more “one-off” blunders and less focused on certain material areas (such as careless mistakes or particularly tricky problems). After this, you should be familiar with the structure and schedule of the test. To give their pupils the greatest exposure, many of our tutors then start assigning weekly or biweekly practice tests up until the actual test sitting.

Work the questions out of order.

If you spend too much time on the more difficult problems, you can rush through the simpler ones. Ask yourself whether a question is a Do Now, Later, or Never rather than answering them in order.

There’s no need to stress over this choice; it can be done quickly.

RIGHT NOW: Does a question seem valid? Are you capable of doing it? Act right away.

FUTURE: How long will it take for this question to be processed? You can leave it and return to it later. Make a note of the question number by circling it.

NEVER: Understand your weakest areas of knowledge and get familiar with warning flags of danger. Save your time and skip the questions you should never ask. Instead, take more time to thoroughly complete the Now and Later questions in order to get a good ACT score.

Choose a “Letter of the Day.”

It doesn’t imply you don’t respond to a question just because you don’t answer it. You shouldn’t leave any blank spaces on your ACT answer sheet because there is no negative marking for incorrect responses. Pick your go-to pair of two-letter responses when you guess on Never questions, and stay with it. For instance, select A/F or C/H each time. Consistency increases your chances of gaining ground.

Find the incorrect answer instead of the correct one.

One significant benefit of multiple-choice exams is that the right response is right there on the page. ACT conceals the right response behind incorrect ones, but when you eliminate just one or two of the incorrect ones, the right one may become more clear.

Be aware of the most effective way to bubble in.

This advice can help you avoid mistakenly filling in the incorrect bubble on your answer sheet, which could cost you points on your ACT score.

Work on one page of English and math at a time, and one passage of reading and science at a time. On the worksheet, circle your responses. Then, move a page’s worth of responses at a time to the answer sheet. Instead of breaking your concentration to locate where you left off on the scantron, it is preferable to remain concentrated on the working questions.

Now with all that in mind, what are you waiting for? Let’s start building your future.

The professionals at AdmissionSight are here to guide you through your journey to success. Book an appointment now and enroll at any college of your choice. We’ve got your back.




Recent Posts

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.