ACT Scoring System

ACT Scoring System

ACT assessment measures high school students general educational development and their capability to complete college-level work with the multiple choice tests covering four skill areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. These main four sections are individually scored on a scale from a low of 1 to a max score of 36. A composite score which is the rounded whole number average of the four sections is provided.

All the scores are integers. The English, Mathematics and Reading tests also have sub-scores ranging from 1 to 18 (the subject score is not the sum of the sub-scores).

  1. ACT Raw Score is the number of questions you answered correctly in the section.

  2. ACT Scaled Score is the score that you get on each section of the ACT after your raw score is scaled. Your scaled score ranges from 1-36, with 36 being the highest possible score on a section. 

  3. ACT Composite Score is the average of your four scaled scores (English, Math, Reading, and Science), rounded to the nearest whole number. Fractions less than one-half are rounded down; fractions one-half or more are rounded up. The highest possible composite score is 36.


ACT Sectional Sub Scores

Section Overall Score Range Sub-Score Breakdown
English 1-36 Usage / Mechanics (1-18)
Rhetorical Skills (1-18)
Essay (2-12)
Math 1-36 Pre-Algebra / Elementary Algebra (1-18)
Algebra / Coordinate Geometry (1-18)
Plane Geometry / Trigonometry (1-18)
Reading 1-36 Social Sciences / Sciences (1-18)
Arts / Literature (1-18)
Science 1-36 No sub-scores

ACT Percentiles

ACT percentiles compare your scores to the scores of other test-takers. When you get your score report, you can see where you stand both in terms of your composite score and your test (or in-section) scores. For example, if you scored in the 90th percentile, you scored better than 90% (or 90 out of every 100) test-takers. If you scored in the 50th percentile, you scored better than half of your peers.

Reporting Categories

Each reporting category includes the total number of questions in that category, the total number of questions in that category you answered correctly, and the percentage of questions correct. ACT reporting categories are aligned with ACT College and Career Readiness Standards and other standards that target college and career readiness.

Test Number of Questions Reporting Categories
English  75

Production of Writing (29-32%)

Knowledge of Language (13-19%)

Conventions of Standard English (51-56%)

Mathematics 60 Preparing for higher math (57-60%)
  • Number & Quantity (7-10%)
  • Algebra (12-15%)
  • Functions (12-15%)
  • Geometry (12-15%)
  • Statistics & Probability (8-12%)

Integrating essential skills (40-43%)


Reading  40

Key ideas and details (55-60%)

Craft and structure (25-30%)

Integration of knowledge and ideas (13-18%)

Science  40

Interpretation of data (45-55%)

Scientific investigation (20-30%)

Evaluation of Models, inferences, and experimental results (25-35%)

Scoring for Writing Test

You receive five scores for this test: a single subject-level writing score reported on a range of 2-12, and four domain scores, also reported on a range of 2-12, that are based on an analytic scoring rubric. The subject-level score is the rounded average of the four domain scores. The four domain scores are:

  1. Ideas and Analysis
  2. Development and Support
  3. Organization
  4. Language Use and Conventions

Taking the writing test does not affect your subject area scores or your composite score.