Test Prep – Careers & Education https://www.careersandeducation.com The number 1 source for training programs and schools. Mon, 17 Aug 2020 02:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 ACT Raw Score Conversion https://www.careersandeducation.com/act-raw-score-conversion Thu, 23 Jun 2016 06:22:46 +0000 https://careersandeducation.com/?p=2325 ACT Conversion Chart The ACT is an important part of the college application process. The score you receive on this test can have a significant impact on the quality of […]

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ACT Conversion Chart

The ACT is an important part of the college application process. The score you receive on this test can have a significant impact on the quality of college you can attend. With this in mind, it is important to understand how the test is scored and what your score means. There are four sections on the ACT – English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. After you have taken all four tests, you receive a raw score based on how many questions were answered correctly. The raw score is then converted into your scaled score by means of a conversion chart, as seen below. The average of your four scaled scores is your final composite score, which is the number the colleges you apply to will look at.

ACT Raw Score Conversion Chart

Download this chart as a PDF.

ACT Scoring and Conversion Process

Your raw score is very simply the number of questions you get right in each section. The English section has 75 questions; therefore the highest possible raw score in English is 75. The Mathematics section has 60 questions, the Reading section has 40 questions, and the Science section also has 40 questions, for a grand total of 215 questions. You do not lose points for an incorrect answer, nor for leaving an answer unmarked. If, in the English section, you get 55 questions correct, ten incorrect, and leave ten blank, your raw score will be 55. After finding the raw score for all four sections, you must use the conversion chart for the test you took to find out your scaled score. Once you have the scaled score for each section, simply add them up and divide the sum by four to get your final composite score. This process looks like this:

English – a raw score of 55 equals a scaled score of 23;
Mathematics – a raw score of 50 equals a scaled score of 30;
Reading – a raw score of 30 equals a scaled score of 27;
Science – a raw score of 26 equals a scaled score of 24.
Add the scaled scores together and divide by four: 23 + 30 + 27 + 24 = 104; 104 / 4 = 26.
Therefore, the final composite score for this hypothetical student is a 26.

If the final composite score is a decimal (for example: 20 + 33 + 21 + 17 = 91; 91 / 4 = 22.75) then the score is rounded up or down to the nearest whole number. In this case, 22.75 would become 23.

Additional Details

The sections of the ACT are divided into subsections, which are scored separately but do not have any effect on your raw or scaled scores. These subsections basically split the main sections into smaller, more specific types of questions. The English section is split into Usage/Mechanics and Rhetorical Skills, the Mathematics section is split into Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry and Plane Geometry/Trigonometry, and the Reading section is split into Social Studies/Natural Sciences and Arts/Literature. The Science section does not have any subsections. However, starting in September of 2016, the subscores will no longer be reported or tracked, and new Readiness Ranges and Benchmarks will be introduced. One of these is the STEM Readiness Benchmark, which is based off of the scores you receive on the Mathematics and Science sections of the ACT and helps to determine your readiness for STEM field degrees and careers.

Some colleges require the ACT plus Writing test, which is the standard ACT with the addition of an essay question. The essay is scored separately by two reviewers and the score is combined with your English and Reading scores to get your English/Language Arts score. Taking the essay portion of the ACT does not change or affect your English and Reading scores.

ACT Scoring Vocabulary

ACT Raw Score: The number of questions you answered correctly in the section regardless of incorrect or blank answers.

ACT Scaled Score: The score that you get on each section of the ACT after your raw score is scaled by using the conversion chart for the specific test you took.

ACT Composite Score: The average of your four scaled scores. The highest possible score is 36.

Conversion (or Scaling) Chart: Chart that is specific to each test and shows what your scaled score is based on your raw score.

College Readiness Benchmarks: These are scores that represent “the level of achievement required for students to have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses.” For the English test, the benchmark is 16; for Mathematics and Reading it is 22, and for Science it is 23.

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What’s a good ACT score? https://www.careersandeducation.com/whats-a-good-act-score Tue, 31 May 2016 06:09:46 +0000 https://careersandeducation.com/?p=2193 Breaking Down The Meaning Of ACT Scores Preparing for college is a stressful process. Taking entrance exams such as the SAT or the ACT is a common step in this […]

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What's a Good act ScoreBreaking Down The Meaning Of ACT Scores

Preparing for college is a stressful process. Taking entrance exams such as the SAT or the ACT is a common step in this process, but not all students understand how these tests operate. While this guide to the ACT is not comprehensive, it is a simple and effective guide to some major questions many students have.

What is your ACT goal?

Millions of high school students across the country take the ACT each year as part of the admissions process. All of these students know that their grade will be between a 1 and a 36, but not all know what score they need.

Some students need a stronger ACT score to compensate for a weaker GPA. Others need a very high score to receive scholarships or get into a high end college. It all boils down to what you are trying to accomplish by taking the ACT. Do you know what score you need?

What is generally considered a good ACT score?

The ACT is structured so a score of 20 is about average for either the composite score or for a score in one category. Moving just a few points higher or lower drastically affects what percentile the student falls into. A score better than only 25% of all scores is in the 25th percentile, with a score that is better than 75% of all scores is in the 75th percentile.

The exact percentile will vary slightly by category, but generally a composite score of 16 falls into the 25th percentile while a 24 is around the 75th percentile and will help when applying to a midrange school. Any score above a 28 will likely be in the top 10% or better and will open the doors to most colleges in the country. The exact score needed varies by school.

What score is needed to get in at (insert school name here)?

It’s important to research the schools you are applying to. Data on the scores of accepted students is readily available online. Websites with this information will usually show the scores of students in the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile of all accepted students. A score around the 75th percentile of students at your chosen college is very helpful in ensuring you will get accepted.

Let’s look at a couple of examples found with some simple searches.

Ever heard of Rust College in Mississippi? They accept some of the lowest ACT scores. Even the students in the 75th percentile at Rust College only scored a 14 on the ACT. That’s one of the lowest accepted scores for college students in the country.

Respected public college Oklahoma University falls into the higher end of the middle group. They actually accept 80% of all students that apply, far higher than Rust College’s 46% acceptance rate. However, OU has much higher requirements than Rust College and most students will need an above average score to get accepted. The 25th percentile of OU students scored a 23 on the ACT and the 75th percentile scored a 29. This somewhat high standard doesn’t even take into account their competitive GPA expectations. To get accepted with a 23 would likely require a 3.6 or higher GPA.

One of the most well-known schools for their exclusivity is Harvard. Only 5.2% of applicants was accepted in 2016 and all met the very high selection standards of an Ivy League school. The 25th percentile of their students scored a 31 on the ACT, and the 75th percentile scored a near perfect 35.

So, in short:

  • For the best chance of admission, it is better to score in the 75th percentile of students accepted to the school you wish to attend.
  • The 75th percentile of Rust College students scored a 14, which is in the low range of accepted scores.
  • The 75th percentile of OU students scored a 29, in the mid upper range of accepted scores.
  • The 75th percentile of Harvard students scored a near perfect 35, in the highest range of accepted scores.

Some schools also offer automatic scholarships based on test scores or GPA. The exact standards vary between schools, but usually require a very high score. Be sure to check the websites of schools you are applying to find the money available based on your test scores.

Your first score isn’t as high as you needed. What is the next step?

Not meeting your goal score doesn’t and a college career. A high GPA, long list of extracurricular activities, or strong admission essay can overcome a poor ACT score. The exact weight placed on ACT scores varies between schools. It’s not entirely necessary to gamble on overcoming a poor ACT score as there is another alternative.

When submitting an SAT score schools receive every score you’ve ever earned, but the ACT works differently. You get to choose which ACT scores are included in your application. It is possible to repeat the ACT and effectively erase a poor score any number of times. The lower your previous scores, the more likely it is that you will improve your score with a re-test.

What can I do to improve my score?

There are plenty of ways to improve your score when preparing for a first attempt or a retake.

Prep Courses

Those that can afford the cost can pay for an ACT prep course or a similar program designed to help students improve their scores. Reviews.com gathered up a few of the best last November into one handy article.

Practice Tests

Practice tests can also go a long way towards understanding the ACT. Plenty of practice tests are available online and can be used as benchmarks to measure your preparation. Magoosh.com has a blog post about practice tests that is a good place to start.

Good Study Habits

The best way to improve your score is to study both yourself and the subjects. Tests are intended to identify an understanding of the subjects being tested, but sometimes the questions themselves get tricky. There is no substitute for knowledge of those subjects which usually comes from hard work. This PrepScholar.com post covers study and test taking habits for getting a perfect 36, but also states that these tricks can be used by anyone looking to improve their score.

A Few More FAQs

Who can take the ACT?

The ACT is open to anyone regardless of age or grade level, although most colleges have a separate transfer process for those with prior college experience.

What if I cannot afford the testing fee?

Students testing on the national test days may be eligible for a fee waiver. The information is sent to high schools each summer. Ask your school counselor for assistance.

What if I cannot make the test date and/or location?

The ACT offers Arranged Testing for students 75 miles from a testing center, unable to test on a Saturday for religious reasons, or unable to reach a testing facility for medical reasons. More information on Arranged Testing is available at www.act.org.

Related: Have you tried our ACT score calculator?

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