Your ACT Score
Each of the four multiple-choice ACT test sections (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science) is scored on a scale of 1-36. You will also receive a composite score, which is the average of your four test scores (1-36).
Your score report also includes national rankings where you can compare your performance against students across the country. For instance, if you ranked in the 90th percentile on the Mathematics Test, you did better than 89 percent of other students, while 10 percent fared better than you.
The ACT Writing Test
If you take the Writing Test, you will receive a Writing Test subscore (ranging from 0 to 12) and a combined English/Writing score (ranging from 1 to 36), along with comments about your essay. Keep in mind that you must take both the English and Writing Tests to receive Writing scores. The Combined English/Writing score is created by using a formula that weights the English Test score two-thirds and the Writing Test score one-third to form a combined score. This combined score is then reported on a 1-36 scale.
Not all schools use the Writing Test score in the same way. Some elite schools that have traditionally required the SAT Writing Subject Test are using the ACT Writing Test as a formal piece of the admissions process. Other schools have indicated that they will look at Writing Test scores, but that they will not give them much, if any, consideration. These schools are primarily trying to get an understanding of the scores in conjunction with their applications. A third group of schools is still on the fence and is waiting for more information to become available before making a decision.
On the ACT website you can search for Writing Test requirements by school. As you refine your target school list based on your scores, you should reconfirm with each school to determine how they will be using your Writing score.
Receiving Your ACT Score
Most ACT scores are available online within 2 ½ weeks after each national test date. This service allows you to view your scores before your official score report arrives by mail. (Score reports for those testing outside the U.S. are not available online). The ACT website offers a complete listing of score availability dates.
Score reports are usually mailed to your home within 4 to 7 weeks after each test date. If you took the Writing Test, your score report will be mailed only after your Writing scores are available.
What's a Good ACT Score?
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Taking the ACT More Than Once
If you aren't happy with your score, don't despair! Most students take the ACT officially more than once, and some even take it three times! Use the information in your score report to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and to hone your preparation for your next ACT. And remember that with the ACT, you decide which scores are sent to colleges.
Keep in mind that you cannot combine scores from different test dates to create your best composite score, and you cannot report only your Writing scores (or only your multiple-choice scores) from a test date. All scores from a test date will be reported together.
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