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Understanding ACT Test Scores

Dec 19

The scoring for the ACT is different than other standardized test, so it’s a good idea for the student to understand how scoring works on the ACT test.  The basics on the test scoring are:

Multiple Choice Sections:  English, Math, Reading, Science

  • Each correct answer is worth one point.  Students do not lose points if answers are incorrect or if the question is left unanswered.
  • The basic score is calculated by the number of correctly answered questions in each particular section.  In other words, if there are 50 questions and the student correctly answers 40 of them. The basic score would be 40.
  • The basic score is converted to a scaled score that ranges from 1 (lowest) to 36 (highest).  In each of the four multiple-choice sections, the student receives a scaled score.
  • The composite score is then calculated as an average of the four multiple choice sections.

Writing Test

  • The writing test essay is read and scored by two readers.  Scores are based on an overall assessment of the essay.
  • The readers give the essay a score that ranges from 1 to 6 points.  The highest possible score is 6.  The two scores are added together and the essay is given a Writing subscore.  The subscore can range from 2 to 12 points.  In the event that the individual reader scores vary by more than one point, a third reader is brought in.
  • The English score and the Writing score are then scaled to provide composite score in English and Writing.  The Writing portion is one third of this score and the English portion is the other two thirds.  The Combined English/Writing score ranges from 1 to 36.
  • The Writing subscore and the Combined English/Writing scores are stand-alone scores on the final ACT report and do not affect the composite ACT score.