What is a good ACT score?

What is a good score on the ACT test? Sure, you would like to have a higher rating, as it gives you more opportunities to enter the college or university you want. However, it is also good to know what influences your score and which grade is okay.

What Are Good ACT Scores in Comparison with the National Average Scores?

So what are good ACT scores? First and foremost, it is a compound sum of several different factors. Specifically, you should get a good ACT Composite Score, ACT Subscores, and ACT Percentiles. Let’s see what does each of these mean:

ACT Percentiles

This result compares your scores to those of other applicants. For instance, if you scored in the 70th percentile, it means that you passed the exam better than 70% of students, which is pretty good.

ACT Composite Score

It is your average result in all the sections. This result is scored via the 1-36 scale.

ACT Subscores

It is the result you get for each section separately. The number of questions you answered correctly is converted to the 1-36 scale. In fact, you can google a score calculator to check if your result is correct.

As you see, there are a lot of details that contribute to your good ACT score.

What is your ACT Score in Comparison with Typical Scores at Target Schools

Different institutions may have different good act composite scores, meaning that for some universities, it is enough to have an average result, while others require very high results. Therefore, the students should spend some time and examine the average scores of the schools they are going to apply to.

The best way to do this is to search for the middle 50% scores for the top-ranked universities. Keep in mind that the passing score of the educational institution is higher for prestigious schools. And it is obvious that many students want to apply to this university together with you.

You may want to create your table with the score range you are targeting. First, select several schools you like and find their average scores. Then, you can figure out what your minimum and maximum ratings are.

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How is the ACT Scored?

Finally, how is the ACT scored? The administration uses a 1-36 scale to score every section. All in all, there are four sections, which are Science, Reading, English, and Math. The administration will provide the score results for each part separately.

Note that no one will penalize you for the wrong answers. Thus, if you don’t know the answer to the question, you may guess and win. You better not leave the blank spaces in your paper. However, let’s not think about the negative things, stay positive, and prepare well to get the highest scores!

Explore what is a Good ACT Score within this Chart

The ACT exam is scored out of 36 points. Setting your ACT score goals for 2020, look at the score averages for your target schools for applying. Overall, the average ACT score is 21, so a score of 23 or above is considered to be a good score. Explore ACT score ranges in the top 10%, top 25%, top 50%, and below that:

What are the best ACT scores?

About 10% of the best results among all test takers are within:

 

Scores

English

29-36

Reading

30-36

Math

28-36

Science

27-36

Composite

28-36

What are the competitive ACT scores?

About 25% of the best results among all test takers are within:

 

Scores

English

24-28

Reading

25-29

Math

24-27

Science

24-26

Composite

24-27

What is a good ACT scores?

About 50% of the best results among all test takers are within:

 

Scores

English

20-23

Reading

21-28

Math

20-23

Science

21-25

Composite

21-26

What is a bad ACT scores?

The ACT scores seem to be bad when they are below average compared to all test takers. But, usually, it is enough for getting into a wide variety of college programs:

 

Scores

English

19 and lower

Reading

20 and lower

Math

19 and lower

Science

20 and lower

Composite

20 and lower

ACT Score Ranges for Popular Colleges and Universities(2021)

ACT Scores(January 11, 2021)

Here is what was a good ACT Scores for the Popular Schools including Ivy League (2019) for comparison

Here is an ACT score chart with the 25th-75th percentile composite ACT scores(2019)  for the 35 most popular schools.

 

75th Percentile

25th Percentile

Rate of Acceptance in 2019

Princeton University

35

31

6%

Harvard University

35

32

5%

Yale University

35

32

6%

Columbia University

35

32

6%

MIT

35

33

7%

University of Chicago

35

32

9%

Stanford University

35

31

4%

University of Pennsylvania

35

32

8%

Northwestern University

34

32

9%

Duke University

34

31

10%

Johns Hopkins University

35

33

11%

Dartmouth College

34

30

10%

Brown University

34

31

7%

University of Notre Dame

34

32

17%

Vanderbilt University

35

32

11%

Cornell University

34

31

11%

University of California, Los Angeles

33

25

18%

University of California, Berkeley

34

29

18%

University of Southern California

34

30

13%

Georgetown University

34

30

16%

Carnegie Mellon University

35

32

22%

University of Michigan

33

29

28%

Wake Forest University

32

28

28%

University of Virginia

33

29

27%

New York University

33

29

19%

University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

32

27

22%

Boston College

33

31

27%

Boston University

32

29

22%

Villanova University

33

30

29%

University of Georgia

31

26

48%

Ohio State University

31

27

48%

Penn State University

30

25

51%

Clemson University

31

27

47%

Texas A&M University

30

25

61%