The ACT is a standardized test that assesses a student’s readiness for college, based on science reasoning, high-level math and English skills. Although the SAT remains the standard for college admission, the ACT is widely accepted at universities across the country. A student who scores above the national average of 20 on this test can be awarded significant scholarship money. Just how much financial assistance could you earn for scoring better than 50, 75 or even 90 percent of most students? First, let’s explore how ACT scores work.

Young woman checking the mailbox What Makes Up the ACT Composite Score?

The ACT tests many of the same subjects as the SAT, with more emphasis on science. A student’s composite score on the ACT is an overall average of the following sections:

  • Subject Tests: Your average score in Math, Science, English, Reading and Writing.
  • STEM: The average of your Science and Math scores.
  • ELA: The average of your English, Reading and Writing scores. If the optional writing section is skipped, the ELA is not factored into a student’s composite score.

When you receive your score report in the mail, it details the questions from each section and your correct answers. Students can also see their state and national rank in each subject. Additionally, the report has several cool features, like the College and Career Planning graph of what your path should be based on your scores.

Beating the Average Score

If you can score higher than the average of 20, you have done better than 50 percent of test-takers! Where does your goal score place you?

  • 24: Better than 75%
  • 28: Better than 90%
  • 30: Better than 95%
  • Above 30: Scoring in the top 1% is a truly phenomenal accomplishment.

The score you need will depend on the schools you plan to apply to. Remember that GPA, class rank and extracurricular activities are all components of an exceptional resume.

What Is Your Score Worth?

The ACT looked at specific schools to show how the chances of admission and scholarship awards can dramatically increase with a good ACT score.

  • West Virginia University: A student who scores a 20, but retests and gets a 23 has a 9 percent better chance of admission.
  • Indiana University: A single point on the ACT could be the difference between an $11,000 and $5,000 award.
  • University of Miami: Students who score a 30 are eligible for $17,841 in merit awards.
  • University of Iowa: A 32 on the ACT, combined with a GPA above 3.85, can lead to a $34,000 scholarship.

At Ivy Bound, we cannot stress the importance of test prep enough. In today’s competitive climate, students are under more pressure than ever to present a college resume that sets them apart from the crowd. Whether you’ve taken the ACT once and were disappointed in your score or you’re planning to test for the first time, let us help.

Our instructors have scored in the top 1 percent on the ACT and use licensed practice materials to make sure each student is ready to succeed on test day. Contact us today if you’re interested in an improved score and more scholarship awards!