ACT ScoresACT Scores

act scoresACT Test Scores are an important factor for college admissions.  Many colleges will set minimum required ACT scores, while others will use ACT scores as just one of many admissions criteria.  The tables on this page will allow you to fully understand your ACT scores.  The ACT percentile charts will show how you compare to other high school students who have recently taken the ACT.  The ACT College Requirements Chart will show the average ACT scores for public and private colleges in general.  Finally, we present the 25th and 75th percentile ACT scores for the largest public and private colleges in the United States.

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You will receive ACT Scores in each of the four tests (english, mathematics, reading and science) as well as a composite score.  The ACT Scores will range from 1 to 36 and the ACT Composite score will be an average of the four subject area tests. In addition, you will be given subscores for the English, Mathematics and Reading subject area tests.  The subscores range from 1 to 18 and do not necessarily add up to your subject area ACT scores.  The subscores are intended to help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses within the subject areas.

Understanding Your ACT Scores

The three most important ways to intepret your ACT scores are to:

  1. Compare your ACT scores to other students.
  2. Determine if your score meet the required ACT scores of your selected colleges.
  3. Identify your academic strengths and weaknesses.

Each of these areas is explored in depth below.

Interpreting your ACT ScoresCompare your ACT Scores To Other Students

One of the best way to understand your ACT Scores is by comparing them to what other students have achieved.  The table below lists your percentile compared to other students.  For example, if you scored a 26 on your ACT Composite score, this implies that your percentile score is 84 (i.e., you scored better than 84% of the other students who took the ACT Test).

Score Composite English Mathematics Reading Science
36 99 99 99 99 99
35 99 99 99 99 99
34 99 99 99 99 99
33 99 97 98 97 99
32 98 96 97 95 98
31 97 94 96 93 98
30 95 93 94 91 96
29 93 91 93 87 95
28 91 88 91 85 93
27 87 85 88 82 91
26 84 82 84 78 88
25 79 78 79 75 84
24 74 73 74 71 77
23 68 68 67 66 71
22 62 63 61 60 63
21 55 57 57 54 56
20 48 50 52 48 47
19 41 43 47 42 38
18 34 38 41 35 31
17 28 33 34 30 24
16 21 29 26 25 19
15 16 24 14 19 14
14 11 18 6 15 11
13 6 14 2 10 8
12 3 11 1 6 5
11 1 9 1 3 3
10 1 6 1 1 2
9 1 4 1 1 1
8 1 2 1 1 1
7 1 1 1 1 1
6 1 1 1 1 1
5 1 1 1 1 1
4 1 1 1 1 1
3 1 1 1 1 1
2 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1

Source: www.actstudent.org/scores/norms1.html

Your ACT percentile ranks give you an indication on where you stand relative to recent high school graduates across the United States and in your local state.  If, for example, you have a percentile rank of 65%, this means htat 65% of the students taking the ACT test received a score that is the same or lower than your score.  Comparing your score to the national percentiles will give you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses in the four subject areas as well as the seven subareas.  If you received a low ranking in a specific subject area, this may indicate you need to spend extra time developing your skills in that area, or take additional courses.  On the other hand, a high ranking in an area may indicate that you will have a greater chance for success in college for majors that require that particular academic skill set.

ACT Test and College RequirementsACT Test and College Requirements

The table below summarizes the ACT Test requirements for public and private 4 year institutions.

 

Public 4-year institutions

Private 4-year institutions

ACT scores

 

 

Composite, 25th percentile

19.5

20.6

Composite, 75th percentile 

24.4

25.7

English, 25th percentile

18.3

19.7

English, 75th percentile

24.4

26.2

Mathematics, 25th percentile 

18.6

19.4

Mathematics, 75th percentile

24.5

25.3

 Source: National Center for Education Statistics Website

Average ACT Scores For Top 100 Public Colleges

College Name ACT Composite
75th percentile score
ACT Composite
25th percentile score
Full Time
Enrollment
Arizona State University 26 20          56,445
Auburn University 30 24          21,343
Ball State University 24 20          18,291
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo 29 24          17,472
California State University-Fresno 22 17          17,385
California State University-Fullerton 23 18          25,240
California State University-Long Beach 24 18          25,408
California State University-Northridge 22 16          25,638
California State University-Sacramento 23 17          25,738
Central Michigan University 24 20          21,041
Clemson University 30 25          17,403
Colorado State University 27 22          23,254
East Carolina University 23 19          21,093
Florida International University 25 22          26,007
Florida State University 28 24          35,082
George Mason University 28 23          18,810
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus 31 27          18,135
Georgia State University 25 21          22,452
Grand Valley State University 26 22          19,465
Illinois State University 26 22          18,599
Indiana University-Bloomington 29 24          37,436
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis 25 18          20,240
Iowa State University 28 22          25,311
James Madison University 27 22          17,872
Kennesaw State University 24 20          17,414
Kent State University at Kent 25 20          20,325
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College 28 23          26,652
Michigan State University 28 23          41,138
Middle Tennessee State University 24 20          20,711
North Carolina State University at Raleigh 28 23          28,121
Northern Arizona University 25 20          19,190
Northern Illinois University 24 19          18,102
Ohio State University-Main Campus 30 26          48,162
Ohio University-Main Campus 26 21          19,919
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus 28 22          17,879
Oregon State University 26 20          19,510
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus 29 25          43,065
Purdue University-Main Campus 29 23          36,258
San Diego State University 25 19          23,906
San Francisco State University 24 19          23,679
San Jose State University 24 18          21,326
Stony Brook University 29 25          20,017
Temple University 26 20          31,324
Texas A & M University 30 24          43,963
Texas State University-San Marcos 25 21          24,624
Texas Tech University 27 22          26,809
The University of Alabama 29 22          25,857
The University of Tennessee 29 24          26,905
The University of Texas at Arlington 25 20          17,449
The University of Texas at Austin 31 25          46,712
The University of Texas at San Antonio 24 19          22,497
Troy University 23 18          16,989
University at Buffalo 28 23          24,222
University of Arizona 27 21          32,976
University of California-Berkeley 32 26          34,149
University of California-Davis 29 23          31,258
University of California-Irvine 28 23          26,167
University of California-Los Angeles 31 24          38,500
University of California-Riverside 25 19          20,035
University of California-San Diego 30 24          28,885
University of California-Santa Barbara 29 23          21,592
University of Central Florida 28 24          40,064
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 27 22          24,439
University of Colorado Boulder 28 23          26,602
University of Connecticut 29 25          21,600
University of Delaware 29 24          18,621
University of Florida 30 26          43,293
University of Georgia 29 25          31,113
University of Houston 25 20          27,933
University of Illinois at Chicago 26 21          22,988
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 31 26          39,873
University of Iowa 28 23          24,167
University of Kansas 27 22          24,462
University of Kentucky 28 22          24,026
University of Massachusetts Amherst 28 23          22,193
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 31 27          39,466
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 30 25          38,899
University of Missouri-Columbia 28 23          28,242
University of Nebraska-Lincoln 28 22          21,090
University of Nevada-Las Vegas 24 19          19,130
University of New Mexico-Main Campus 25 19          19,756
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 31 26          24,328
University of North Carolina at Charlotte 24 20          18,723
University of North Texas 26 21          26,082
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus 29 23          20,576
University of Oregon 27 21          21,126
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus 30 25          24,657
University of South Carolina-Columbia 29 24          25,427
University of South Florida-Main Campus 27 22          29,364
University of Utah 27 21          22,030
University of Virginia-Main Campus 32 28          21,000
University of Washington-Seattle Campus 30 24          36,478
University of Wisconsin-Madison 30 26          37,485
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 24 19          23,631
Virginia Commonwealth University 26 20          24,596
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 29 25          28,115
Washington State University 26 21          21,956
Wayne State University 24 17          19,495
West Virginia University 26 20          25,490
Western Michigan University 25 20          18,376

Source: http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/

Average ACT Scores For Top 100 Private Colleges

 

College Name ACT Composite
75th percentile score
ACT Composite
25th percentile score
Full Time
Enrollment
Arizona State University 26 20          56,445
Ashford University 22 18          62,810
Auburn University 30 24          21,343
Ball State University 24 20          18,291
Boston University 30 26          26,310
Brigham Young University 30 26          30,010
California State University-Fullerton 23 18          25,240
California State University-Long Beach 24 18          25,408
California State University-Northridge 22 16          25,638
California State University-Sacramento 23 17          25,738
Central Michigan University 24 20          21,041
Colorado State University 27 22          23,254
Columbia University in the City of New York 34 31          21,434
Cornell University 33 29          20,840
East Carolina University 23 19          21,093
Florida International University 25 22          26,007
Florida State University 28 24          35,082
George Mason University 28 23          18,810
Georgia State University 25 21          22,452
Grand Valley State University 26 22          19,465
Harvard University 34 31          19,900
Illinois State University 26 22          18,599
Indiana University-Bloomington 29 24          37,436
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis 25 18          20,240
Iowa State University 28 22          25,311
Kent State University at Kent 25 20          20,325
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College 28 23          26,652
Michigan State University 28 23          41,138
Middle Tennessee State University 24 20          20,711
New York University 31 28          33,804
North Carolina State University at Raleigh 28 23          28,121
Northeastern University 31 28          22,584
Northern Arizona University 25 20          19,190
Ohio State University-Main Campus 30 26          48,162
Ohio University-Main Campus 26 21          19,919
Oregon State University 26 20          19,510
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus 29 25          43,065
Purdue University-Main Campus 29 23          36,258
San Diego State University 25 19          23,906
San Francisco State University 24 19          23,679
San Jose State University 24 18          21,326
Stony Brook University 29 25          20,017
Temple University 26 20          31,324
Texas A & M University 30 24          43,963
Texas State University-San Marcos 25 21          24,624
Texas Tech University 27 22          26,809
The University of Alabama 29 22          25,857
The University of Tennessee 29 24          26,905
The University of Texas at Austin 31 25          46,712
The University of Texas at San Antonio 24 19          22,497
University at Buffalo 28 23          24,222
University of Arizona 27 21          32,976
University of California-Berkeley 32 26          34,149
University of California-Davis 29 23          31,258
University of California-Irvine 28 23          26,167
University of California-Los Angeles 31 24          38,500
University of California-Riverside 25 19          20,035
University of California-San Diego 30 24          28,885
University of California-Santa Barbara 29 23          21,592
University of Central Florida 28 24          40,064
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 27 22          24,439
University of Colorado Boulder 28 23          26,602
University of Connecticut 29 25          21,600
University of Delaware 29 24          18,621
University of Florida 30 26          43,293
University of Georgia 29 25          31,113
University of Houston 25 20          27,933
University of Illinois at Chicago 26 21          22,988
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 31 26          39,873
University of Iowa 28 23          24,167
University of Kansas 27 22          24,462
University of Kentucky 28 22          24,026
University of Massachusetts Amherst 28 23          22,193
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 31 27          39,466
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 30 25          38,899
University of Missouri-Columbia 28 23          28,242
University of Nebraska-Lincoln 28 22          21,090
University of Nevada-Las Vegas 24 19          19,130
University of New Mexico-Main Campus 25 19          19,756
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 31 26          24,328
University of North Carolina at Charlotte 24 20          18,723
University of North Texas 26 21          26,082
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus 29 23          20,576
University of Oregon 27 21          21,126
University of Pennsylvania 34 30          21,235
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus 30 25          24,657
University of South Carolina-Columbia 29 24          25,427
University of South Florida-Main Campus 27 22          29,364
University of Southern California 33 29          32,365
University of Utah 27 21          22,030
University of Virginia-Main Campus 32 28          21,000
University of Washington-Seattle Campus 30 24          36,478
University of Wisconsin-Madison 30 26          37,485
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 24 19          23,631
Virginia Commonwealth University 26 20          24,596
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 29 25          28,115
Washington State University 26 21          21,956
Wayne State University 24 17          19,495
West Virginia University 26 20          25,490
Western Michigan University 25 20          18,376

Source: http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/

Colleges use ACT scores for a variety of purposes.  A primary purpose, of course, of the ACT scores is a factor in admissions.  Most colleges use standardized test scores such as the ACT or SAT as one factor in their admissions processes, along with other factors such as class rank, high school gpa, difficulty of courses, school/community activities, work experience etc. Colleges also use your ACT scores for course placement, advising and scholarships.

ACT Benchmark ScoresACT Benchmark Scores

ACT has derived a “benchmark” score for each of the four subject areas.  The benchmark score is the minimum score needed on the test that indicates you have a 50% chance of getting a B and a 75% chance of getting a C in the first year college course in that subject.  The table below shows the ACT Benchmark Scores.

ACT Test Subject Area

ACT Benchmark Scores

First Year College Course

ACT English

18

English Composition

ACT Math

22

Algebra

ACT Reading

21

Social Sciences/Humanities

ACT Science

24

Biology