ACT scores consist of a multiple-choice score, a composite score, and a national rank. Candidates will receive a composite score, a score for each of the four subject areas of the test, and seven subscores. The composite score represents an average of four subject scores. In order to calculate a score ACT finds the number of test questions answered correctly. The number of correct answers is then converted to a scale score. Scale scores allow for a uniform scoring method among all ACT tests given regardless of the date or version of the test. The composite score and four subject scores will range from 1 to 36. The seven subscores will range from 1 to 18.
The composite score conveys the candidate’s overall performance on the ACT while the four subject scores convey how the candidate performed in each area of the test. The seven subscores represent the effectiveness with which the candidate utilized certain skills in each subject area of the test. In the English subject area, 40 of the questions test for usage and mechanics while 35 of the questions test rhetorical skills. In the Mathematics test, 24 questions test Pre-Algebra and Elementary Algebra, 18 questions test Intermediate Algebra and Coordinate Geometry, and 18 questions test Plane Geometry and Trigonometry. In the Reading portion of the test, 20 questions test Social Studies and Science reading skills and the remaining 20 questions test Art and Literature reading skills. The Science area of the test does not contain any areas for subscoring.
The national rank shows how a candidate’s test score compares to the scores of all other candidates who took the ACT for the current testing year. The national rank represents the percentage of candidates who scored at or below your score in each area. National ranks are given for the composite score, the four subject areas, and the seven specific skills areas. Candidates are advised to review their national ranking to gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in each area. Candidates with high scores can use the ranking to determine which college major they could pursue while candidates with low scores can use the rankings to identify the areas they need to improve upon before retaking the ACT.