The ACT is a standardized exam used for college admissions in the United States. The exam covers four academic areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The ACT also has an optional writing portion.
Many universities require prospective students to take either the ACT or SAT, as standardized tests are believed to be one of the most effective tools for predicting a student’s success in college. Many schools accept both scores, and typically there is no preference of one exam over the other.
The ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36, with 36 being the highest possible score. This scored is calculated by averaging the scaled scores from each of the four subject areas. The scaled scores are translated from the raw score of each section, which is the total number of correct answers. Any averages with decimals are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Millions of students take the ACT every year. In 2018, only 3,741 students scored a 36 on the exam
The score a student receives corresponds to a percentile that compares how you did to the rest of the population of test-takers. Most scores are a little below or a little above the average score. The average ACT score is 20.8. Therefore if you receive a 24 composite score, you are in the 74th percentile and scored higher than 74% of test-takers.
A “good” score depends on the individual since each person usually has a goal score to achieve to get into the school they plan to apply for. The ACT can be taken and retaken up to 12 times and is administered seven times per year.