Average ACT Scores


ACT Scores

Typically, your ACT scores are available two weeks after the exam date. The ACT exam comprises four sections: English, Mathematics, Reading and Natural Science. Score on each section ranges from 1 to 36. Your overall score is generated by averaging your scores on all four sections. It is possible to repeat the ACT to improve the score achieved, if you are not satisfied with your current ACT score.

ACT Score Range

Your overall ACT score ranges from 1 to 36. That’s is to say, the highest ACT score is 36 and the ACT lowest score is 1.

ACT Good Score

There is no so called “Good ACT Score”. Whether your ACT score is good depends on which colleges you are applying to. If your score is near to the average score of admitted students to your desired schools, then it is considered a good score.

Average ACT Scores for Top U.S. Colleges

COLLEGE NAME ACT 25TH PERCENTILE ACT 75TH PERCENTILE
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 33 35
Harvard University 32 35
University of Pennsylvania 32 35
Rice University 32 35
Columbia University 32 35
Yale University 32 35
Stanford University 31 35
Washington University in St. Louis 32 34
Northeastern University 31 34
Cornell University 31 34
Duke University 31 34
Brown University 31 34
University of California – Berkeley 31 34
University of Southern California 30 33
Boston College 30 33

ACT Score Chart

ACT Score Chart

ACT Plus Writing Score

The ACT Plus Writing test is rated between 2 and 12. However, the assessment of the essay is not included in the overall assessment of the ACT exam.

ACT Test Structure

In the basic version, the ACT takes a total of 2 hours and 55 minutes and consists solely of multiple-choice questions. The ACT examines the following four areas:

  • English (English Test)
  • Mathematics (Mathematics Test)
  • Reading (Reading Test)
  • Natural Sciences (Science Test)

Some U.S. universities require an extended version of the exam, ACT Plus Writing. Here test takers also have to write an essay.

ACT English test

The ACT English test takes 45 minutes. In addition to punctuation, grammar and sentence construction, he also checks the areas of approach (based on appropriateness with regard to the purpose and target group of the text), text organization and expression.

ACT Mathematics Test

The ACT Mathematics test lasts 60 minutes and includes questions about algebra and geometry in the context of school mathematics. It is permitted, but not mandatory, to use a calculator. However, only certain devices are permitted.

ACT Reading Test

There are 35 minutes available for the ACT Reading Test. The exam consists of four thematically differentiated parts in which the participants must answer questions about one longer or two shorter text passages. The texts come from the four disciplines of social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and literature.

ACT Science Test

The ACT Science Test also takes 35 minutes. Skills in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, problem solving and logical thinking in a scientific context are required here. The basis for the multiple-choice questions are schematic representations of data (e.g. graphics and tables), descriptions of experiments or contradicting hypotheses on a research question. The use of a pocket calculator is not permitted in this part of the examination.

ACT Plus Writing

For the additional writing test in ACT Plus Writing, an essay must be written within 30 minutes. The task describes a problem and two different perspectives on it. The examinee must present his or her own position on this subject in writing. He can either take one of the two predefined positions or develop his own.