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How Is The ACT Scored?

Students taking the ACT will receive a number of different scores in their Student Report:

  • Subject Test Scores: The English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Tests are each given a score from 1 to 36.
  • Composite Score: The average of the scores of the four subject tests (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science).
  • Subject Test Subscores: Within the English, Mathematics, and Reading Tests, you will also be given subscores based on different topics within each test; these subscores range from 1 to 18, and do not necessarily add up to your subject test score.
  • Writing Test Score: Those taking the ACT Plus Writing will be given a Writing Test score; this score will range from 2 to 12.
  • Combined English/Writing Score: Students taking the ACT Plus Writing will also see a combined English and Writing score, which can range from 1 to 36. These scores are derived by using a conversion table; the individual Writing Test and English Test scores may not necessarily add up to this combined score.

Students taking the Writing Test will also receive brief comments on the essay they wrote.

In addition to scores and comments, students will also be given percentile ranks for all the scores (composite, subject test, and combined scores, as well as subscores) on their report. For Composite Score, you will be given a percentile rank both for your state, as well as nationally; for all other scores and subscores, you will only be given a national percentile rank. The percentiles range from 1 to 99. If, for example, you are given a percentile rank of 70, this means that you scored higher than 70 and lower than 30 percent of all other students taking the test for that particular administration.

Regarding score availability, the ACT states: “Most scores are available for online viewing within 2 ½ weeks after each national or international test date. Your scores are not reported any faster if you view them onlineScore reports are normally released within 3 to 8 weeks after each test date. If you took the Writing Test, your score reports will be released only after all your scores are available, including Writing, within 5 to 8 weeks after the test date.”

You can see a sample ACT Plus Writing Student Report here.