11 August 2010

What is A Good ACT Score?

Is your score good enough??

If you favor the ACT over the SAT, then like all other students out there, you want to know what is a good ACT score. If you want to know what a good SAT score is, then read What is a Good SAT Score for a breakdown of scores at top universities. But for everyone else who likes the ACT, then the question remains "is my score good enough?" Is a 22 good? Is a 26 good? How about a 29? A 31 must be good right? 

Just like with SAT scores, each of these scores has the potential to be very good, or just OK, but it all depends on where you want to go. (Although generally speaking, anything
above a 30 is a potential candidate for any top university.) If you want to go to Yale, then a 22 just isn't going to cut it. If you want to go to Ohio State, on  the other hand, then a 22 is a good score. It is all relative. The important thing to remember, is that just like SAT scores, ACT scores are not the only thing that colleges look at when deciding who to admit. Class rank, rigor of classes, grades, GPA, extra curricular activities outside of school, and sports all affect your chances of admission. 

These things are in fact more important than pure test scores. They show your interests and success over a long period of time, not just one Saturday morning. Colleges realize that you could be a bad test taker, or have a bad day and bomb a test, which is why standardized tests do not mean everything. Good grades and such can easily make up for a not so good test score. Do not lose hope just because your ACT scores are a little low. You never know who a college will accept. You might have something extraordinary that all of the brainiacs with 34 's don't. There is a college for everyone, so don't fret. Here is a list of some colleges and their average ACT scores, so that you can see the type of schools within your range.

 Harvard: 31 - 34

 English: 32 - 35
 Math: 31 - 35

Columbia University:  29 - 34

 English: 28 - 34
 Math: 29 - 34
 Writing: 8 - 10

Georgetown University: 28 - 32

 English: 28 - 34
 Math: 27 - 33

Boston University: 25 - 30

 English: 26 - 30
 Math: 26 - 31

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA): 24 - 31

 English: 24 - 32
 Math: 25 - 33

University of Wisconsin: 24 - 38

 English: 24 -28
 Math: 24 - 28
 (Different schools in the state system have different scores)

Ithaca College: 23 - 28

 English: 22 - 29
 Math: 23 - 28

University of Iowa: 23 - 28

 English: 22 - 28
 Math: 22 - 28

University of Kansas: 22 - 27

 English: 21 - 28
 Math: 21 - 27

All Data came from the official college sites and collegeapps.about.com

*Many colleges consider Math and English the
two most important subjects on the ACT, 
which is why only those two are listed.

This is just a handful of ACT scores to give you an idea of the type of school that you should apply to. The great thing is, just like I said in my similar article for SAT scores, that there are plenty of colleges in America where your score will be great. The average ACT score is 20, so anything above that is considered pretty good. I would say that every 3 points or so, the caliper of schools raises a full level, so make sure to look for not just schools in your caliper, but a few above and below. Colleges are so unpredictable that you never know what will happen. 

If you have hopes to attend Georgetown, then you need to study, take classes, and keep trying until you get the score that you want. If you are happy with your scores, great for you, otherwise keep studying. Finally, scores are not everything, especially for college. A low ACT score is not the end of the world, do not give up. Just try and see what happens; the worst that can happen is that you get rejected.


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