The purpose of the ACT test is to measure a high school student's readiness for college, and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants.
The SAT and ACT generally cover the same topics. Both ACT and SAT scores are used for college admissions decisions and awarding merit-based scholarships. Most colleges do not prefer one test over the other. Neither the SAT or ACT is harder than the other.
|Widely accepted||All U.S. colleges||All U.S. colleges|
Jul 20, 2018
As of 2019, the SAT is officially more popular than the ACT with 55% of the market share. More than 2.2 million students in the class of 2019 took the SAT compared to about 1.8 million students who took the ACT.
The ACT is challenging for many students because of its strict time constraints. On the English section, you'll answer 75 questions in just 45 minutes, which is equal to a mere 36 seconds per question. On the Math section, you'll answer 60 questions in 60 minutes, so you have a minute at most for each question.
12 Tips to Taking the ACT Test
You should aim to study for the ACT every day over the course of a few months, in addition to weekly timed practice tests. Make studying for the ACT a top priority, right after family and schoolwork.
You cannot fail the ACT. It contains five sections: math, reading, science, English and writing and is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being a perfect score. Although you cannot fail the exam, there are certain minimum scores that you must get in order to gain admission to many colleges and academic programs.
A score of 19 is a little worse than average. It places you in the bottom 44th percentile nationally out of the 2 million test takers of the ACT entrance exam. The score indicates you've done a slightly below average job answering the questions on the English, Math, Reading and Science sections of the test.
Although college admissions officers often say that they give much more weight to a student's GPA, even they will admit that your ACT score is of considerable importance. Here's what they won't tell you: your ACT is often more important than your high school grades!
24 or higher
Generally, a score of 24 or higher is good. This will put you in the 74th percentile, making you more of a standout in ACT score percentiles. In other words, your score of 24 is better than 74 percent of all test takers.
You can take the ACT up to 12 times, and many students end up taking the test between 2-3 times before applying to college. Most colleges are neutral about multiple scores. Many students, in fact, make score improvements by retaking the ACT. Give yourself time to improve before you begin filling out applications.
So what is a perfect ACT score? The perfect composite score is 36. This score is an average of your four section scores for English, Math, Reading, and Science. While you don't need a perfect score to get into top colleges, earning a full 36 ACT score can help you be a competitive applicant.
Is a 34 a good ACT score? Yes, a score of 34 is awesome. It places you in the top 99th percentile nationally out of the 2 million test takers of the ACT entrance exam. The score indicates you've done an almost perfect job answering the questions on the English, Math, Reading and Science sections of the test.
ACT to SAT Score Conversion Chart
|ACT Score||SAT Score|
Dec 2, 2020
Is 27 ACT Score Good? With a score of 27, you are in the 87th percentile of all test takers. More likely than not, with a score of 27, you'll often be in or near the commonly accepted range at selective colleges. The exception may be the Ivy League where the score required may be higher than 30 on average.
Yes, a score of 30 is excellent. It places you in the top 93rd percentile nationally out of the 2 million test takers of the ACT entrance exam. The score indicates you've done a significantly above above average job answering the questions on the English, Math, Reading and Science sections of the test.
A score of 22 is better than average. It places you in the top 63rd percentile nationally out of the 2 million test takers of the ACT entrance exam.
With a score of 26, you are in the 83th to 85th percentile of all test takers.