Know Your ACT Scores

What Scores Are Reported for the ACT

The ACT score that you receive is a reflection of the academic knowledge that you have acquired throughout your school and high school years. Hence, it will illustrate your capacity in being able to successfully pursue college education. So you should be able to understand the results in order to analyze your intellectual level and your keenness to join college.

The admission authorities of the colleges you apply to will also look for these two qualities in the applicants. Thus, a good score will give you an edge over your counterparts. But before you decide as to what a good result is, you should know how to interpret a score card. Hence, to enable you to analyze your results, the features of the result card are discussed below.

Know Your Score Card

The ACT examination consists of 4 compulsory and 1 optional sections. The score card comprises the score you have received in each section of the examination as well as an overall score. Thus, the results that you receive are a reflection of your strengths and weaknesses too. You can use the results to choose the subject you wish to major in college. The scoring system used by ACT is explained below:

  • The minimum and maximum scores you can receive for the 4 primary sections, i.e. English, Science, Mathematics and Reading, are 1 and 36 respectively. The total marks you receive for all the correct answers that you have given represent your 'raw score'. There is no negative marking in ACT.

  • The optional section or the Writing test is marked separately. It is marked by two different raters and each of them will mark your essay on a scale of 1 to 6. So the minimum and maximum marks you can receive in this section are 2 and 12 respectively. The score you receive in the Writing section will not affect your total test score. The score for this section is mentioned separately in your score card.

  • The 'raw scores' that you receive in the compulsory sections are converted to 'scale scores' that are reported in your score card as the score you have received for each section of the test.

  • ACT also reports 7 sub scores depending on the number of sub sections of each section of the examination. The number of sub scores for each section of ACT are as follows:

    • The English section reports 2 sub scores, viz, Usage/Mechanics and Rhetorical Skills.

    • The Mathematical section reports 3 sub scores, viz, Pre Algebra/Elementary Algebra, Algebra/ Coordinate Geometry and Plane Geometry/Trigonometry.

    • The Reading section reports 2 sub scores, viz, Social Studies/Sciences and Arts/Literature.

    • The Science section does not report any sub score.

    • The sub scores of your results reflect your expertise in the particular areas of the various sections of the test.

  • The Composite Score or the ACT score that you receive is the average of the scores for each section of the examination except the score you get for the writing section. The Composite Score is always a whole number. For example, if the average of the scores that you have received for the 4 main sections of ACT is 24.6 then your Composite Score will be 25 and if it is 24.4 then your Composite Score will be 24.

Thus, the results that you receive are quite elaborate. This ensures that the score you receive is a true reflection of your proficiency in each subject. Moreover, it gives the admission authorities a clear idea of your strengths and weaknesses. If you want to see a sample score card then click on the following link:

Once you understand how to interpret your result, selection of subjects that you should study in college becomes easy. The ACT sectional scores also indicate the subjects you have a talent for and hence you can select your career option accordingly. However, a good score is always welcome! So, know all that you need about the ACT results and prepare well for the test because that alone will help you fare well in the examination.