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The ACT Scoring Scale

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An ACT score report includes scores for each of the four subject area tests (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science) and all associated subscores (which are calculated separately).

The first step in calculating a score for a subject area test is to determine the raw score for that test. The raw score is equal to the number of questions answered correctly on that test (there is no penalty for incorrect answers). Then, the raw score converted to a scaled score between 1 and 36 using a metric that takes into account variations in difficulty among different test administrations.

The Composite Score is the average of the four subject area test scores, rounded to the nearest whole number. Fractions less than one-half are rounded down; fractions one-half or more are rounded up.

Your score report will also contain a percentile ranking that shows the percentage of recent test-takers whose ACT score was at or below your own. The chart below lists the possible scaled scores and their corresponding percentile rankings:

Percentile rankings are based on ACT-tested high school graduates
from 2016 - 2018
Score English Math Reading Science Composite
36 100 100 100 100 100
35 99 99 99 99 99
34 96 99 97 98 99
33 94 98 95 97 98
32 93 97 92 96 97
31 91 96 90 95 95
30 90 95 87 94 93
29 88 93 84 92 91
28 86 91 82 90 88
27 84 88 80 88 85
26 82 83 77 85 82
25 79 79 74 82 78
24 75 74 71 77 74
23 70 69 66 70 69
22 65 65 61 64 63
21 59 60 54 57 58
20 54 57 49 50 52
19 48 53 43 43 46
18 44 47 38 37 40
17 40 40 32 30 33
16 36 31 27 24 27
15 30 19 22 18 20
14 23 10 18 13 14
13 18 3 13 9 9
12 14 1 9 6 4
11 11 1 5 4 1
10 6 1 2 2 1
9 3 1 1 1 1
8 1 1 1 1 1
7 1 1 1 1 1
6 1 1 1 1 1
5 1 1 1 1 1
4 1 1 1 1 1
3 1 1 1 1 1
2 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1

Writing Test Scores

If you take the ACT Plus Writing you will also receive a writing score, which is reported on a scale of 2 to 12.

Writing Test essays are scored based on your ability to:

Your essay will be scored based on the overall impression it creates. Two trained readers will score your essay on a scale of 1 to 6; the sum of these scores is your Writing subscore, which is reported on a scale of 2 to 12. If the two ratings differ by more than one point, a third reader will read your essay and resolve the discrepancy.

Percentile rankings are based on ACT-tested high school graduates
from 2016 - 2018
Score Writing
12 99
11 99
10 99
9 95
8 88
7 65
6 47
5 24
4 12
3 4
2 2
1 1