Average ACT Score: What is ACT Score Range?  Image
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Average ACT Score: What is ACT Score Range?

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Yocket Editorial Team
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ACT is a multiple-choice exam used in the United States for graduate admissions at universities and colleges. If you want to graduate from an American university, you must take the ACT exam. Science, Mathematics, English, and Reading are the four sections of the ACT exam; the fifth subject, Writing, is optional. The ACT exam, which is akin to an admission exam, is a method of assessing a student's abilities methodically. Colleges and universities use the test as part of the admittance process to determine eligibility for enrollment.

In order to kickstart your preparation, you must also be aware of what's the average act score along with its syllabus and exam pattern. This is what this blog is all about. Here we dwell at length on the ACT score range and the average ACT score for top universities abroad.  

Table of Contents

  1. What’s the Average ACT Score?
  2. Do Average ACT Scores Matter?
  3. Section-wise breakdown of Average ACT Score
  4. Average ACT Scores by State
  5. Average ACT Scores for Colleges
  6. Frequently Asked Questions: ACT Average Score

What’s the Average ACT Score?

The performance of students who wrote the paper on the same day is determined by the average ACT score. For each subject area, the ACT is graded on a scale of 1 to 36. Students do not lose points for incorrect answers; instead, they receive no score for them and receive scores for correct ones. The maximum ACT score is 36. The ACT exam is graded on a scale of 36 points for each section. 

The ACT composite score is calculated by adding the scores from all four sections: Science, Mathematics, English, and Reading. The current average ACT Score is 20.6. Percentile scoring describes a test participant's results compared to all other examinees on that day, and the ACT score range, based on a percentile system, is 1-36 score points. 

Suggested: How to Calculate ACT Scores?

Do Average ACT Scores Matter?

The ACT ranking compares your ACT score to that of other examinees. The percentage indicates the percentage of examinees who scored better or equivalent to you. For instance, if you get a 75% on the ACT, it implies you did better than 75% of other examinees.

The percentile evaluations are important because it enables universities and schools to compare your scores to those of other candidates. The ACT score, on the other hand, changes based on the college to which one wishes to apply, and so is more important than the ranking.

The average ACT score is roughly 20.8, therefore you'll be in the middle percentile if you achieve 21-23 points. Because a score of 23 is over the national average, it will make you a prime candidate for prominent schools. However, your score may exclude you from a few prestigious universities and schools. A 24+ score does distinguish you from other examinees. However, to get into universities like Princeton, one may require a much better score.

Suggested: Colleges Accepting ACT Scores

Section-wise breakdown of Average ACT Score

The ACT exam is graded on a scale of 36 points for each section, which is also the maximum ACT score. The overall average ACT score is 20.6. But now, let’s further break down the average ACT test score according to different sections of the ACT exam.

Section Averages

Average Score

Average English ACT Score

19.9

Average Maths ACT Score

20.2

Average Reading ACT Score

21.2

Average Science ACT Score

20.6

Let's talk about the fifth, optional subject, Writing, now that we've covered the areas that are mandatory for the ACT exam. Your result in the writing section does not influence your composite score.

The ACT writing score range is 2-12. The ACT Writing Exam has a 6.5 average score. A score of 8 or above is preferred by extremely selective institutions. Scores of 10, 11, and 12 stand out and demonstrate strong writing abilities.

College and university universities act independently regarding whether to require the ACT writing exam scores for admittance or not.

Suggested: Colleges Accepting low ACT Scores

Average ACT Scores by State

Due to low testing participation rates, several states' composite averages fall above or below this national norm. States that mandate that all students take the ACT have relatively low averages than states that do not. This’s logical because, in states where the exam is not obligatory, only the smart kids attempt it. This distorts the averages of these states.

Here is a list of states and their ACT state averages:

State

ACT Average

Alabama

18.7

Alaska

20.6

Arizona

19.8

Arkansas

19

California

26.1

Colorado

23.6

Connecticut

27.2

Delaware

25.7

District of Columbia

25.6

Florida

20.4

Georgia

22.6

Hawaii

18.2

Idaho

23

Illinois

25.2

Indiana

23.1

Iowa

21.5

Kansas

19.9

Kentucky

19.2

Louisiana

18.4

Maine

25.6

Maryland

25.2

Massachusetts

27.6

Michigan

25.1

Minnesota

21.6

Mississippi

18.1

Missouri

20.6

Montana

20.4

Nebraska

19.9

Nevada

17.8

New Hampshire

26.6

New Jersey

25.1

New Mexico

20.7

New York

26.3

North Carolina

18.8

North Dakota

19.6

Ohio

19.6

Oklahoma

19.7

Oregon

20.6

Pennsylvania

25

Rhode Island

25.8

South Carolina

18.6

South Dakota

21.6

Tennessee

19.1

Texas

20.1

Utah

20.6

Vermont

24.7

Virginia

25.5

Washington

23.6

West Virginia

20.8

Wisconsin

20

Wyoming

19.7

The number of participants who take the test in a given state is a significant aspect if one wants to compare state averages. 

Now let’s take a look at what average ACT score a student requires to achieve to get into their dream college/university:

Suggested: ACT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Average ACT Scores for Colleges

When it comes to accepting new students, colleges use the ACT exam results as a yardstick. To be accepted into college, most universities have a minimum acceptable score that students must earn.

These requirements change from one school to the next and from one state to the next.

University

25th percentile

75th percentile

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

33

35

Stanford University

31

35

Harvard University

32

35

University of California-Berkeley

30

34

University of California-Los Angeles

28

33

Yale University

31

35

The University of Texas at Austin

26

32

Cornell University

30

34

California Institute of Technology

34

35

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

30

33

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

26

31

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

29

33

University of Southern California

30

33

Dartmouth College

30

34

Duke University

31

34

Johns Hopkins University

32

34

Princeton University

32

35

University of Pennsylvania

31

34

Carnegie Mellon University

31

34

Texas A & M University-College Station

25

30

Ohio State University-Main Campus

27

31

Northwestern University

31

34

Williams College

31

34

University of Chicago

32

35

University of California-San Diego

28

33

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

26

31

Rice University

32

35

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

25

29

Brown University

31

34

Vanderbilt University

32

35

University of Virginia-Main Campus

29

33

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

28

33

Emory University

29

33

University of Notre Dame

32

34

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

26

31

Georgetown University

30

34

Brandeis University

29

32

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

26

31

New York University

29

32

Tufts University

30

33

University of California-Irvine

24

29

Suggested: Everything About ACT Score and Result

A decent ACT score is an important pre-requisite for the college or university you wish to attend. To get into top-ranked universities abroad you should strive for a score of above 30. For any guidance and assistance, get in touch with our counselors at Yocket now! 

Frequently Asked Questions: Average ACT score

Ques.  Why is an average ACT score essential?

Ans. The average ACT score is significant because it allows universities and schools to compare your results to those of other applicants.

Ques. Does a good ACT ranking ensure admission?

Ans. Your ACT score is one of the factors to getting admission, but no, your admission does not solely depend on your ACT scores. Colleges look at your high school GPA, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation from teachers, and the subjects you took in high school, in addition to your ACT scores. But yes, the higher the ACT scores, the higher the chances of being accepted by more universities. 

Ques. Why is the writing ACT average measured differently?

Ans. It is because most colleges don't require the ACT writing test. After all, they believe the General ACT is enough to determine an applicant's knowledge and understanding of issues. And because the rest of the ACT exam is a multiple-choice-based exam except the ACT writing section, in which the candidate is required to write an essay.

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