Average ACT Test Scores

Why Should You Score above Average ACT Scores

The ACT test is conducted on multiple dates in a year, at centers within the USA, and in many countries outside the USA. Colleges in the USA use the ACT test scores, to assess the skill and knowledge level of those who apply for admission. This article is about the ACT scores that you need to get admission to colleges, average ACT test scores, and why it is important to score above these scores.

The ACT exam consists of four tests with multiple-choice questions. For each correct answer, one point is awarded. Your points will not be deducted for an incorrect answer. The total of these points forms the raw score for each test. The raw scores are converted to scaled scores that range from 1 to 36. The average of the scaled scores for all four tests is the composite score for the ACT test. The composite score also ranges from 1 to 36. The score for the Writing test ranges from 2 to 12. If you have taken this test, this score is combined with the English score to give a combined English/Writing score of 1 to 36. The English test score comprises two-thirds, and the Writing test comprises one-third of this combined score.

What Is the Average ACT Score?

The colleges in the USA consider the ACT scores, among other criteria, at the time of selecting applicants. They may consider the composite score or the individual test scores, or both. The average ACT test scores are the average of the composite scores obtained by all the people who take the ACT test. This is a composite score of 21.

Why Should You Score above Average ACT Scores?

If 21 or around 21 is the average ACT test score obtained by most people, then what is the necessity to score above this? The answer is that average ACT test scores may not be sufficient to get you into a good college. There are many more applicants to colleges in the USA, especially the good colleges, than are available seats. In order to guarantee yourself acceptance to at least one college of your choice, you should be able to distinguish yourself from the majority of the other applicants.

If you get a high score, for instance a composite score above 30, then you are likely to be accepted at some of the best schools in the USA, such as Harvard and Yale. If your scores are around the average ACT test scores, then you may be left in the unenviable position of not having been accepted, even at any of the moderately good schools. If you make a compromise and get admitted to a school that was not one of your preferred ones, you may regret your decision later.

You should do some research on the schools before you take the ACT test. You could visit the websites. If possible, visit the schools in person, or ask someone who has been to that school. You could make an initial list of 10 to 12 schools that you like. After you have received your ACT test scores, make a shortlist of about 6 schools. At least two of these should be schools that you have a reasonably good chance of getting into. You should also include a couple of schools that are apparently slightly above your reach. This is because colleges consider other criteria besides ACT test scores for admission, such as SAT, application letters, etc. Even if your scores are below the average ACT test scores of the students admitted in the past, you may get admission due to other reasons.

You should try and get the best scores that you possibly can in the ACT test. You could prepare well by taking a prep course. Even if you don't score as well as you would have liked to, you could take the ACT test again. For your next attempt, you could attend prep classes, if you didn't do so earlier, or do more practice tests. If you score well above the average ACT test scores, you will have a wider range of schools to choose from.

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