What is a good ACT score

What is a good ACT score? Generally, a good ACT score is 24 or higher. This will put you in the 74th percentile and you will be more of a standout in ACT score percentiles. Simply, your score of 24 is better than 74 percent of all test takers. The average ACT score is 20.8. This score combines all four sections: English, reading, math, and science.

What is a good ACT score

How Is the ACT Scored?

Although the test contains multiple-choice questions, there is 40 also an additional 40-minute Writing Test. There are four main sections that combine this score: English, Reading, Math, and Science.

The test is of 2 hours and 55 minutes. If you decide you want to take a writing test, you will be given additional 40 minutes, increase the time to 3 hours and 35 minutes.

Each of the four sections will get 36 points. The score obtained in each section, and then the combined into a composite score, showing how you did your test in comparison to the rest of the test takers.

The Writing Test

This test is scored on a separate scale. It’s about an essay of 40-minute, which will allow you to assess how well you formulate your ideas into a coherent piece of writing. You’re going to be able to share your opinion on any given topic.

You can choose your stance from the prompt that is given or choose your own. You will not be graded for your opinions; but, on the contrary, on the basis of your ability to create a clear thesis statement is backed by the supporting details.

:small_blue_diamond: ACT Essay Writing Percentiles, 2020-21

ACT Writing Score Percentile
12 100
11 99
10 99
9 96
8 90
7 66
6 51 (median)

When to Take the ACT Exam

The best time to take ACT is during the spring of your junior year of high school or the fall of your senior year. In fact, you may want to take the plunge in your junior years. This will give you time to retake the test if you would like to get high scores. You can also retake test as many times as you like.


SAT is more popular and, perhaps, more widely known than the ACT, many colleges and universities will accept scores from either exam.

If you want to play your cards well, prepare and take both tests. You can re-take both exams until you get a good grade and then submit either of your results to the college or university of your choice.

Remember that ACT (or SAT) is not the only factor in your college application. You also have your GPA, writing sample, outdoor activities, and letters of recommendation. Sure, the ACT score above 30 can be good, but don’t get caught up on it, especially if you don’t aim for the Ivy League. Retake the test until you are satisfied and make sure your entire portfolio is bright.

What Is a Good ACT Score Overall?

As mentioned above, the ACT consists of four sections: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. Each title is scored on a scale of 1-36 on a single point increment. Your combined, or total, ACT score is the average of your four-section scores.

A good ACT rating will put you above most of the test takers. In other words, any score above the median, or 50th percentile, are good scores. Percentiles indicates the percentage of test takers received equally or more than the given year of testing. For example, if you scored in the 65th percentile, this could mean that you did better than the 65% of the test takers (and worse than the 35%).

You will need to aim for about 20 in each ACT section if you are hoping to hit the median. An ACT score more than 20 can be considered a good grade, because it means you have done better than most test takers. The higher your ACT score, the higher your percentile ranking will be.

The table below contains examples of how many colleges look for good ACT scores based on percentiles. Note that certain scores are estimates based on available percentile data.

:small_blue_diamond: Overall ACT score

Here’s a chart with ACT score percentiles for students from the classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 to help you find how your scores position you among the overall test takers.

Score ACT English Percentile ACT Math Percentile ACT Reading Percentile ACT Science Percentile Composite Percentile
1 1 1 1 1 1
5 1 1 1 1 1
10 7 1 3 3 1
13 19 4 14 10 10
16 37 33 29 26 28
18 45 49 39 39 41
20 55 58 50 51 53
22 65 65 61 64 64
24 75 74 71 77 74
26 82 84 77 85 82
28 86 91 82 90 88
30 89 94 83 93 93
34 96 99 96 98 99
36 99 99 99 99 99

What Is a Good ACT Writing Score?

Other than the four sections that make up your composite score, the Act provides an additional writing section. In this section, you should write an essay outlining your point of view on the issue.

You only need to complete this section if at least one of the colleges you are applying to requires an essay for introductory purposes. Note that the ACT with writing 70 dollar costs more than the ACT without writing $ 55.

Unlike the English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science categories, the ACT Writing section was scored 2-12. This school is not calculated according to your combined school, it is reported separately. Two readers assign your essay a grading of 1-6 on four domains:

  • Ideas and Analysis

  • Development and Support

  • Organization

  • Use of Languages and conventions

These domain scores are combined and averaged to provide you with a composite writing score between 2 and 12.

Like the other four categories of ACT, the strength of your essay score depends on what percentile you place in. Also, any score higher than median means you have done better than most test takers. The higher your score than the 50th percentile, your ACT writing performance will be stronger and more impressive in college.

The following table provides an overview of the best ACT scores based on national percentiles:

:small_blue_diamond: Class of 2022 ACT Scores for Admitted Students at Popular Schools

School 25th Percentile ACT Score 75th Percentile ACT Score
Boston College 33 35
Columbia University 34 35
Hamilton College 32 34
Indiana University Bloomington 25 32
Miami University 25 31
The Pennsylvania State University 27 33
Tufts University 33 35
University of California, Berkeley 29 35
University of California, Davis 28 34
University of Georgia 30 34
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 28 34
University of Maryland, College Park 30 34
University of Michigan 32 35
University of Minnesota Twin Cities 26 32
University of Pennsylvania 34 36
University of Southern California 32 35
University of Texas at Austin] 26 34
University of Washington 27 33
Villanova University 31 34
Wesleyan University 33 35

The above chart shows that an ACT Writing score above 6 can be considered strong, especially if you score an 8, which puts you in the top 10% of all test takers.

How to Get a Good Score on the ACT

Following is mentioned some methods to get a good score on ACT.

:small_blue_diamond: Devise a Study Plan

You can’t expect to do well in the ACT if you don’t give yourself enough time to prepare for the test day. Try setting aside at least a month or several months to review important test topics, do practice tests, and find your major weaknesses.

Coming up with a daily or weekly routine can help you stay focused on your study. You can also use the planner to keep track of your progress and remind yourself when and how to review.

:small_blue_diamond: Use Official ACT Materials

The best resources you can use to prepare for the ACT are those created by the test administrators themselves. The official website offers a number of free exam preparation materials, including a customized program called the ACT Academy, a complete study guide, and online practice questions for each test section. You can also purchase “The Official ACT Prep Guide” or guidelines for a specific category.

:small_blue_diamond: Get an ACT Prep Book

The preparation book can strengthen your knowledge of the ACT by directing you to a variety of exam topics and providing critical assessment strategies that are not available in official materials. In addition to “The Official ACT Prep Guide,” helpful ACT preparation books include those created by well-known testing companies, such as Barron’s and Kaplan. You can buy or rent books from Amazon or borrow a copy from your local library.

:small_blue_diamond: Take Full-Length ACT Practice Tests

The full-length ACT practice test helps prepare you for test content and test time. Remember that the ACT is a three-hour test with a few breaks, you will want to make sure you improve your mental and physical strength needed to go through it. Use practice tests to track your progress in achieving your intended results and identify any weak points in your test plan and content information.

:small_blue_diamond: Strengthen Your Weak Spots

One mistake that many students make is spending too much time reviewing test subjects and material that they are comfortable with. The key to doing well in ACT is to address your weaknesses in your prep. Use practice tests and questions to look at patterns and decide what you should spend most of your study time on.

Retake the ACT, If Possible

Not everyone has the time or money to repeat the ACT, but if you can, do it. Most students take the ACT two or three times, some more, in an effort to do better in the exam. Research shows that students tend to get higher scores on the second try. ACT Inc. found that 57% of high school graduates who retook the test raised their composite ACT scores in their second attempt.

What If my ACT Score Is Too Low?

What should you do if you take a test and get lower your score than your goal? Don’t panic; you have a few options that help you figure out when to think for yourself.

:small_blue_diamond: Strategy 1: Retake the Test

If you have time to prepare for the test and take it again, this may be your best strategy if you are really committed to all your schools. You will want to be sure to make adjustments based on your weaknesses so that you have the best chance of improving your score.

You should also make sure that you prepare enough hours to make a significant difference in the score you need. Here are our rough estimates of how many hours it will take to prepare before you can improve your combined score by a certain amount:

  • 0-1 ACT Composite Point Improvement: 10 hours

  • 1-2 ACT Point Improvement: 20 hours

  • 2-4 ACT Point Improvement: 40 hours

  • 4-6 ACT Point upgrade: 80 hours

  • 6-9 ACT Point Improvement: 150+ hours

:small_blue_diamond: Strategy 2: Don’t Worry About It

If you missed your score by 1-2 points, depending on the schools you attend, you may not need to do anything. Suppose you wanted 35, but you got 34. You could retake the test, but you don’t have to. If your 34 still puts you towards top of the 25th-75th percentile list in your school, it may make sense to use the time and energy you devote to preparing and retaking the test on other parts of your application.

However, if you were more than two points short of your goal score. And if you apply to the most selective schools, even two points would make a retake worth it.

:small_blue_diamond: Strategy 3: Adjust Your List of Schools

If you have 3+ points short of your goal score and do not have time to retake the test, your best strategy is to adjust your school list. While you can (and should) still apply to your dream schools as you reach to the schools, you will need to make sure you have enough match and safety schools for your scores.

Suppose you wanted 32, but you got 28. You may have had Boston University (between 50% 29-32) as a sport, but now it has become a thing of the past. And maybe you had Hofstra University (50% average 24-29) as a safety school but now it’s close to the match. So, add other safety schools for your results, such as SUNY Albany (between 50% 22-26) and Pace University (between 50% 22-27).

Is 32 a good act score

:black_small_square: Yes, with 32 score you are among the best. Scores put you in the top 97 percentiles of those who take the test. Check out the colleges you can get into with 32 ACT score.

:black_small_square: Stanford University, the University of Florida and the University of Texas at Austin are some of the best colleges with a competitive opportunity to getting into.

:black_small_square: 32 positions in the top 97 percentile of all students taking the ACT test.

:black_small_square: 32 converted to 1430 on the SAT using the College Board / ACT concordance tables. Explore colleges: Colleges to get 1430 SAT score. If you scored 32 points in ACT, you are probably wondering how you compare with other students, and whether 32 is enough to get into college.

Is 29 a good ACT score

:black_small_square: Yes, 29 score is excellent. It puts you in the top 91 percentiles nationally out of the 2 million test takers of the ACT entry exams. The score indicate that you have done more work above the average job answering questions in the English, Math, Reading and Science test sections.

:black_small_square: If we look at the most recently published ACT category schools in all U.S. colleges, we have found 237 schools including 29 and your college application puts you in the middle ACT score range of admitted student’s average ACT scores. They represent well-known schools where you will be a competitive applicant and those that historically have earned 29 ACT score. You can view your access to schools and safety schools through the admission chance filter. Keep in mind, only ACT score will not make you eligible. It is equally important to have a GPA, college is expecting for incoming students.

:black_small_square: For comparison purposes, 29 in the ACT converts to 1340 in the SAT based on the College Board / ACT concordance. Not all colleges report both SAT and ACT score admission data so you should refer to our comparative list for both standardize tests to find the same schools.

:small_blue_diamond: What colleges can I get into?

Here are some of the top colleges which have historically accepted students in this test score range.

College Average ACT
Trinity College 30
Lehigh University 31
Skidmore College 30
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 30
Santa Clara University 30
University of Miami] 30
Yeshiva University 27
University of California Los Angeles 32
Lafayette College 30
Kenyon College 31
Loyola Marymount University 29
Southern Methodist University 31
Trinity University 30
Bucknell University 30
Occidental College 30

Is 18 a good ACT score

:black_small_square: You can probably do better than 18 score. It places you at 38th percentile nationally out of 2 million test takers of the ACT entry exams. The score indicate that you have done less than the average of answering questions in the English, Math, reading and Science test sections. Since your school is on the end of the range, consider taking an exam preparation course and re-taking the Act to see if you can do better.

:black_small_square: Looking at the most recent ACT scores in all U.S. colleges, we found 424 schools including 18 and your college application puts you in the middle ACT score range admitted average ACT scores of students. They represent well-known schools where you will be a competitive applicant and those that historically have received 18 ACT score. You can view your access to schools and safety schools through the admission chance filter. Keep in mind, only ACT score will not make you eligible. It is equally important to have a college GPA expecting for incoming students.

:black_small_square: For comparative purposes, 18 on the ACT converts to 970 in SAT based on College Board / ACT concordance. Not all colleges report data on SAT and ACT entry points so you should refer to our comparative list for both limited tests to find the same schools.

:small_blue_diamond: What colleges can I get into?

Here are some of the top ranked colleges which have historically accepted students in this test score range.

College Average ACT
Woodbury University 22
Mount Carmel College of Nursing 20
Augsburg College 20
Rutgers University Camden 20
University of Alaska Fairbanks 21
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences 19
Notre Dame of Maryland University 21
Western Illinois University 21
SUNY College of Technology at Alfred 21
Northwood University Michigan 21
Gwynedd Mercy College 20
Mount St. Mary’s College 19
Shenandoah University 22
Eastern Illinois University 20
Marian University 21

Frequently Asked Questions

Following is mentioned some frequently asked questions related to the topic of What is a good ACT score.

1. Should I retake the ACT if I got a 35?

Definitely you should not retake. Your app will look random and if you do not get in it will definitely not be due to test scores. Things you can do with your time if you are not studying for ACT will bring greater benefits to your chances of getting in than an extra point in ACT.

2. Will a 36 ACT get you into Harvard?

If you’re 36 on your ACT and you think you’re going to get into Harvard, that’s not the case. Only a fraction of 1 percent of SAT students have obtained a total of 1600 or, in ACT, a composite 36 of these four subject areas.

3. Is a 1.0 GPA good?

Considering the average US national GPA is 3.0, 1.0 is significantly below average. In general, 1.0 is considered an undesirable GPA. Raising the 1.0 GPA to an acceptable number is very difficult, but it can be done with effort and determination.

4. Is a 0.2 GPA good?

Nationally, the average high school GPA average is about 3.0, which is a B average. Normally, a 3.5-4.0 GPA, which means an A- or A average, is expected for admission to top colleges. However, you can get admission to a less selected school with a low GPA such as 2.0 or C-average.

5. Does low GPA ruin your life?

A low GPA does not ruin your future, and you can pull bad grades with hard work. However, a very low GPA can have very negative effects on your academic life even after graduation.

6. Do jobs care about GPA?

Employers are very much concerned about your GPA when you apply for your first job out of school, whether you are a recent college graduate or high school graduate who is directly entering the job market.

7. Can I get into a master’s program with a 2.5 GPA?

With more competitive programs, a 3.0 or even higher may be the minimum GPA accepted, but in some cases, schools are flexible and will admit students with a minimum of 2.5, or they may not have a GPA cutoff at all.

8. What is a low GPA?

Your Graduate point Average (GPA) is relative. You may feel that your score is inferior to the schools that your target school wants. But your GPA may not be as low as usual. The most selective colleges generally consider 3.5 to be the lowest level. Many other schools consider low GPA scores to be in the 2.0 range.

9. Is MBA hard or easy?

In short, an MBA is as difficult as you make it, and it is rewarding as you invest in it. In the business world, it is rarely any hand-holding. You can grow into a competent business expert or surpassed by the competition.

10. What are the most useless degrees?

Here’s the list of the most useless degrees

  • Advertising and public relations

  • Anthropology / Archaeology

  • Communications / Mass media

  • Criminal justice

  • Education

  • Ethnic and civilization studies

  • Fashion design

  • Film, video, and photographic arts


What is a good ACT score? A good ACT rate is what puts you in the middle of the top 25th and 75th percentiles of admitted student scores from last year at the college you want to attend. If you are shooting an elite college, you must have an ACT score of 34 or higher. If you are trying to get into your flagship state school, then 30 should give a firm footing. If you are looking for a merit scholarship from a private or public university, you must have at least 32 if not more. If you plan to go to a school near your home and don’t worry that we are not very well placed on the US New and World Reports scale, maybe 27 or 28 will put you in the middle of the high school admissions range.

Read Also :point_down:

How to calculate the ACT score?

622 Credit Score

What Is a Good GPA in High School?