ACT Scores Calculation Method
Have you just taken your ACT exam? You are probably curious to know what marks you have achieved. Fortunately, there is an official scoring chart that allows you to calculate your score with high accuracy. This is helpful during college application submissions where you fear that the score in your retaken exam is lower than that of the previous one so you should send in your application with the older score.
|Scale Score||English Raw Score||Math Raw Score||Reading Raw Score||Science Raw Score|
Figure 1. Sample of ACT scores chart including writing test
You are given marks for answering questions correctly and no negative marking is permitted for incorrect answers. There are 4 subjects in your ACT exam including English, Reading, Math, and Science. You may calculate correct answers by straightforward counting that makes up your raw score. This is later transformed into a scale score (1 to 36).
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If you combine the scores from all 4 subjects and then divide it by 4 you will be able to get your average ACT score that is also known as your complete score. This is a good way to understand how well you have performed overall.
Writing exam scores
The score for the writing exam does not affect the complete score. The reason is that it is graded differently from other subjects. It is analyzed by 2 examiners both of whom may award a score varying on a scale of 1 to 6. This means that the total score for writing may lie somewhere between 2 to 12. Your marks will be shown separately on the result sheet for the writing section.
What is the ACT scores percentile?
Besides the actual score, your ACT percentile ranking is also provided on the result sheet. This reveals your relative performance in comparison with other students who took the same test as you. If it showed 90%, it would mean that only 10 % of these students scored higher than you which would be a great achievement. Similarly, if you received 75%, it would reveal that only 25% of your fellow students scored higher than you.
Figure 2. ACT scores ranking by percentile
When can I get my ACT scores?
After your scores are compiled, they are accessible online by logging into your ACT account. They are updated on the official website every week so there might be a slight delay. You cannot ask for your scores from their customer care via phone, email or fax.
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ACT scores for computer-based testing
Students who have opted for ACT computer-based exams may check their multiple-choice scores after 2 weekdays. However, this score availability may vary from one state to another so there is no need to be anxious if your scores are not visible online by this time.
ACT scores for the paper test
Students who have chosen to take the ACT paper test may confirm their multiple-choice scores after 2 to 10 of their test date. Their writing scores are also accessible after 2 to 3 weeks of taking the exam. Every state has different regulations in this regard. Therefore, you might get your results earlier or later than others depending on your location.
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What are good ACT scores?
The maximum score you may get on an ACT test is 36 but typically, candidates score around 21. Some may score near 23, which is considered high by certain universities and average by others. So, it is important to confirm what score is acceptable for the university you are applying to and keep a few options to avoid missing opportunities.
Do universities only favor ACT scores for admission?
The admission offices of universities not only consider your ACT scores but also assess your cumulative GPA, extra-curricular activities, reference letters, discussions, essays, internships, volunteer work, etc. Students with high ACT scores may be exempted from taking a course or receive a scholarship from the university. Some universities organize their own entrance exams and evaluate students further to identify a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
ACT scores for top US universities
Top universities like Princeton University prefer a score of 35 along with Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, MIT and many more. Many universities still accept a lower ACT score ranging from 34 to 25. Stay updated on the level of acceptance with regards to ACT scores according to your preferred university and you will be good to go.
ACT scores required for a scholarship
If you have achieved a score above 30, this often shows that you are among the top students among the candidates who took the exam with you on that date. However, if you have scored slightly less than 30, you may still apply for a scholarship. It completely depends on the regulations of the universities that you have selected.
Transferring your ACT scores to universities
Your ACT scores are automatically transferred to the universities that you have mentioned while registering for the exam. In case you have forgotten to mention a specific university or simply changed your mind about the one you may still send a request for this purpose.
Regular ACT scores report charges
Once you have sent in your request to receive a report, it will be processed within a week approximately. Your reports will be delivered to the colleges and universities that you have mentioned while registering for the test. You will be charged around 13 USD for a single ACT report. Check out the updated charges on their official website before requesting a report.
ACT scores common questions
Can I reappear to improve my score?
Nearly half of the students who have taken an ACT exam reappear after their first attempt within the same year to improve their scores. Therefore, retaking the exam is fairly common and even encouraged to get into top universities.
Which scores are considered if I reappear?
You may select which scores you want to be considered for your college entrance: original or retake scores. Sometimes, you may not score as high as expected during the retake so it is best to calculate your scores beforehand and spend them wisely.
Using scores from different test dates
Candidates you are not allowed to add scores belonging to various subjects from different test dates and consider them for university entrance. All the subjects and sections assessed on the same date must be reported together.
How to verify my scores?
You may ask for score verification within 12 months of your exam day. Download a form created to request for score verification, print it, fill in the information and send it to the administration. Include your ACT identification number, full name, address, and center location. You will also have to pay 50 USD to have your multiple-choice exam reviewed. Nearly 40 USD are required to review for the writing (essay) test. Meanwhile, a 90 USD fee is charged for reviewing them both. You will receive a reply within 3 to 5 weeks. If any error is revealed, your scores will be corrected and the fee will be refunded in case it was not your fault.
Cancellation of ACT scores
The administration holds the complete right to cancel your ACT test scores if they suspect that your scores are incorrect or have been achieved by cheating in any form.
ACT scores validity limit
These are valid for up to 5 years starting from the original date when you took your exam. After that, these scores will be deleted automatically from the official records.
You may learn more details by contacting the customer care through the official website for the ACT exam and make specific queries about your particular case.