ACT Scoring - How ACT Test Scoring Works

ACT Scoring – How ACT Test Scoring Works

Before your child takes the ACT, it’s a good idea for him or her to be familiar with how the ACT test scoring works. Here are the basics of what your child needs to know.

Scoring for the Multiple-Choice Sections (English, Math, Reading, and Science)

  • Students earn 1 point for each correct answer and neither lose nor gain points for each omitted or incorrect answer.
  • A student’s raw score for a section is calculated by determining the number of questions answered correctly in that section. Example: If a student answered 60 questions correctly in the English section, his English raw score would be 60.
  • A student’s raw score for a section is converted to a scaled score, which ranges between a 1 and a 36, with 36 being the highest possible score. Students receive a scaled score for each of the four multiple-choice test sections (English, Math, Reading, and Science).
  • A student’s composite ACT score is the average of the student’s scaled scores for the four multiple-choice test sections. Example: If a student scored a 24 English, 28 Math, 26 Reading, and 23 Science, his composite ACT score would be (24 + 28 + 26 + 23)/4 = 25.25, which is rounded down to a 25.

Scoring for the Writing Test

  • Two readers read and score each student’s Writing test essay. Essays are scored holistically (i.e., based on the overall impression your essay makes).
  • Each reader gives the essay a score ranging between a 1 and a 6, with 6 being the highest possible score. The two scores are added together to get a student’s Writing subscore, which can range between a 2 and a 12, with 12 being the highest possible score. If the two readers’ scores differ by more than one point, a third reader will be called in to resolve the disagreement.
  • A student’s English score and Writing subscore are scaled to create a student’s Combined English/Writing score. The English score accounts for 2/3 of the Combined score while the Writing score accounts for the remaining 1/3.  A student’s Combined English/Writing score will range between a 1 and a 36, with 36 being the highest possible score.
  • Neither the Writing subscore nor the Combined English/Writing score affects a student’s composite ACT score. Instead, they serve as stand-alone scores that appear on a student’s score report.

Related Topics

  • Find out why StudyPoint recommends viewing ACT scores before sending them to colleges. Visit our Sending ACT Scores page.
  • For more specific information about the ACT format and question types, visit our ACT Test page.

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