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Articles / Preparing for College / ACT Scores: Understanding Your ACT Scores and More

ACT Scores: Understanding Your ACT Scores and More

Written by ACT | June 21, 2022
ACT Scores
Photo by Good Faces on Unsplash

Congratulations on completing your ACT!

How Do I Access My Score?

In the chart below, you can find your test date in the left column; the corresponding right column is the timeframe in which your score will be released. If you took the writing test, your overall score will not be officially reported until your writing scores have been added. When your score becomes available, it can be accessed through your MyACT account.

National Test Date Reporting Timeframe
September 11 September 21 - November 5
October 23 November 9 - December 17
December 11 December 21 - February 4
February 12 March 1 - April 8
April 2 April 12 - May 27
June 11 June 21 - August 5
July 16 July 26 - September 9

How is The ACT Scored?

The number of correct answers you got on the test is converted to a score that ranges from 1-36 for each of the four tests (English, mathematics, reading, science) – your composite score is the average of the four subject test scores.

Your writing score is reported on a range of 2-12 based on four domains: Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization, and Language Use and Conventions. Two readers will score your paper on a scale of 1-6 and your score will represent the sum of the two readers’ scores.

What Does My Score Mean?

Readiness Benchmark: If your score is at or above the Benchmark, you have at least a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in specific first-year college courses in the corresponding subject area.

US & State Ranks: Your ranks tell you the approximate percentages of recent high school graduates in the US and your state who took the ACT test and received scores that are the same as or lower than your scores. For example, a rank of 56 for your Composite score means 56% of students earned that Composite score or below.

Your STEM and ELA scores represent your overall performance on the specific subject tests you took. The STEM score looks at the science and mathematics tests to produce a combined score, and the ELA does the same for the English, reading, and writing tests.

College and Career Planning: If you completed the interest inventory, the graphic visually summarizes your work-relevant interests by pointing toward occupations that involve the kinds of basic work tasks you prefer. Go to www.act.org/collegeplanning to learn about yourself and find out about careers, majors, and colleges that may be right for you. It’s free!

How is My Score Used?

High schools use results to:

  • Evaluate effectiveness of instruction
  • Identify students who need assistance with certain subject areas or academic skills
  • Plan changes and improvements in the curriculum

Colleges use results for:

  • Admissions decisions
  • Course placement
  • Academic advising
  • Scholarships and loans

How Do I Compare My ACT and SAT Scores?

The ACT and College Board have completed a concordance study that is designed to examine the relationship between scores on the ACT test and the SAT. The concordance table below does not equate scores, but rather provides a tool for finding comparable scores.

36 1590 1570-1600
35 1540 1530-1560
34 1500 1490-1520
33 1460 1450-1480
32 1430 1420-1440
31 1400 1390-1410
30 1370 1360-1380
29 1340 1330-1350
28 1310 1300-1320
27 1280 1260-1290
26 1240 1230-1250
25 1210 1200-1220
24 1180 1160-1190
23 1140 1130-1150
22 1110 1110-1120
21 1080 1060-1090
20 1040 1030-1050
19 1010 990-1020
18 970 960-980
17 930 920-950
16 890 880-910
15 850 830-870
14 800 780-820
13 760 730-770
12 710 690-720
11 670 730-770
10 630 620-640
9 590 590-610

Table: ACT composite to SAT total

What Is the Average ACT Score?

Section Average Score
English 19.9
Math 20.2
Reading 21.1
Science 20.5
STEM 20.6
Composite 20.6

These ranks are reported as “US Rank” on ACT score reports during the 2021-2022 reporting year (September 2021 through August 2022). The ranks are based on ACT- tested high school graduates of 2019, 2020, and 2021 (n=4,748,666).

Should I Retest?

43% of ACT test takers chose to take the test more than once last year, and more than half of them improved their scores.

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