The ACT exam is a crucial and important requirement for attending the college of one's choice. The ACT exam is a standardized multiple choice test that is divided into five sections that include: Reading, Mathematics, English, Science, and an optional Writing section. The purpose of the test is to measure college readiness and be used as a tool by college admissions departments in determining whether a specific student will succeed at the school. In addition, the test can help students to determine the colleges that would best suit his or her needs and skill levels.
The scores are calculated by computing one's performance on each part of the exam and then averaging the individual scores in order to obtain a composite score. Each portion of the test is assigned a raw score which is then turned into a scale score. The composite and sub scores scores can range from 1 to 36. 1 is the lowest while 36 is the highest score that one can achieve.
The national composite or total ACT score average is around 21. The national average for the Reading exam is also about 21. In addition, the Mathematics national average is 21, while the English and Science exam scores are about 20 to 20.8. However, composite and individual test scores do vary by state and range from 19 to 24.
Mississippi has the lowest national average while Massachusetts boasts the highest composite score. Many of the east coast states have a higher average score in comparison to many southern locations. Only about 1 in 4,000 test takers will achieve a perfect score on the exam. On the other hand, a very small percentage of test takers will score below a 17. Most students score between a 19 and 23.
Once you have taken the exam and have received your grade report, you will be assigned scores in each area of the test as well as a total composite score. Furthermore, you will also be designated a national rank. This rank will tell you how you have performed on all areas of the ACT in relation to other students across the nation who took the exam during the same period.
The rank will also provide information on what percentile your score falls into. For instance, if you are in the 80th percentile this means that you scored the same or better than 80% of students who took the ACT. On the other hand, 20% of students scored higher than you on the test. These percentages can be helpful when applying to colleges and determing if a school is a reach or a safe bet. Many schools base their admissions on percentile figures.
Colleges and Universities are ranked through a tier system ranging from traditional to highly selective. Many state schools fall into the traditional category and most Ivy League Universities are considered highly selective. Traditional schools do not require as high of an ACT score, while selective, and highly selective colleges require both a high ACT score as well as excellent grades. Many colleges will take into consideration the overall score as well as scores on the English and Math sections of the exam.
For instance, an Ivy League school such as Harvard or Princeton normally requires a 28-36 composite ACT score as well as a comparable Math and English score. A 28-36 score places one in the top 1 to 10% of test takers or the 90 to 99th percentile. Therefore, 75% of students who attend the college may have scored a 30-36, while 25% may have scored a 28 to 30. On the other hand, a traditional state school may only require a 19-22 composite score as well as a 19-22 average in Math and Enligh. A selective college normally accepts students in the 23 to 28 range for the composite score as well as individual exam scores that fall in the 80 to 85th percentile.
However, it is important to remember that the ACT is not the only factor an admissions departments considers when accepting or denying applications. In addition to one's tests score, colleges also look at grades, extra-curricular activities, community service and other accomplishments. Universities want to see a well rounded individual who not only performs well on tests but is also successful in the classroom. In addition, many colleges understand that not all students excel at taking standardized tests, but do very well with projects, homework and other assignments.
For example, if you have a 2. 0 grade point average and scored a 36 on the ACT, you will most likely not be accepted into a highly selective or selective college. Most schools place a greater amount of weight on grades than the ACT exam. Therefore, if you have a 4.0 grade point average and receive a 22 on the ACT, you may still be able to attend a selective college.
Furthermore, many schools will base scholarships and fincial aid on one's ACT scores. Most scholarships require at least a 23 to 24 to receive any type of compensation. In addition, the amount one is awarded rises as the ACT score increases.
For example, a student who achieves a score of 24 may receive free meals for a semester while a student who achieves a 28 may be awarded free tuition, room and board. As with admissions, there are several factors that go into the dispersment of scholarships. Grades, activities and other considerations are made when one applies for a scholarship. Most colleges require a certain grade point average combined with a specific ACT score in order to award monies. In addition, different schools will award different types of scholarships. Some schools may offer a free ride with a score of 28 and good grades, while others require an ACT score in the 30s and a 4.0 grade point average.
The ACT is an important aspect of one's college career and can help to determine whether a student will gain access into the college of his or her choice. The average national composite score is 21, however this varies by state. Most highly selective schools are comprised of students who have an average ACT score of between 28 and 36, while many selective schools contain a student body ACT score average of 23-28. A more traditional University may have an ACT range of 18-22. Once you have received your ACT scores, make sure to properly evaluate each individual score as well as your composite score and rankings in order to ensure that you will be accepted in the school of your choice.