How To Calculate ACT Score | The Basics

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This is the process of how to calculate ACT score, broken down by section, and your overall composite score. It will help your own test prep.

Here’s an idea of ACT scores that colleges are looking for in 2020.

How To Calculate ACT Score: How It Works

ACT Raw vs Scale Scores

Here’s how ACT scoring works, in a nutshell.

You receive a point for every question you get right. Again, like the SAT, there are no point deductions for wrong answers.

The total number of questions you get right on each section (English, Math, Reading, and Science) equals your raw score. Your raw score for each test is then converted into a scale score from 1 to 36.

Composite Score

Your ACT composite score is the average of your scores on each section.

Here’s how to figure it out fast: Add up your English, Math, Reading, and Science scores, Divide that sum by 4. Make sure to round up to the nearest whole number.

Sample ACT Scoring Chart

Below is a sample ACT raw score conversion grid from the free test that ACT itself makes available.

Bear in mind that the ACT score chart for each test administration is different. However, this table can help you get an idea of how test scores themselves are determined on the real thing.

Scale Score English Raw Score Math Raw Score Reading Raw Score Science Raw Score
36 75 59—60 40 40
35 73–74 57–58 39 39
34 71–72 55–56 38 38
33 70 54 37
32 69 53 37
31 68 52 36 36
30 67 50–51 35 35
29 66 49 34 34
28 64–65 47–48 33 33
27 62–63 45–46 32 31–21
26 60–61 43–44 31 30
25 58–59 41–42 30 28–29
24 56–57 38-40 29 26-27
23 53–55 36–37 27–28 24–25
22 51–52 34–35 26 23
21 48–50 33 25 21–22
20 45–47 31–32 23–24 19–20
19 42–44 29–30 22 17–18
18 40–41 27–28 20–21 16
17 38–39 24–26 19 14–15
16 35–37 19–23 18 13
15 33–34 15–18 16–17 12
14 30–32 12–14 14–15 11
13 29 10–11 13 10
12 27–28 8–9 11–12 9
11 25–26 6–7 9–10 8
10 23–24 5 8 7

Again, that’s how to calculate ACT score in a straightforward manner. It’s definitely a lot simpler than figuring out your potential SAT score.

Another thing to factor in is the ACT essay. Right now, don’t worry about that as much. Focus on calculating your main composite score first, and then tackle the essay.

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