What ACT Scores Mean in the College Admission Process
The significance of an ACT score varies from one school to another. You need a 30 plus score for Ivy League schools, while 18 may be good enough if you are seeking admission to a local university. There are plenty of colleges for which you do not need ACT scores. Strong scores can help you in getting scholarships that can be useful for meeting the college expenditure.
English Language, Science, Mathematics, and Reading constitute the four parts of the ACT examination. Each category gets a score from 1 to 36. Then the average of the four scores is taken to arrive at the composite score. Most colleges use this score.
The exam was taken by more than five million students between the years 2017-2019.
Students who would take the ACT exam, with Writing, were scored on a 12-point scale. Those students who scored between 10 and 12 got admission into the most selective schools.
In 2016, the writing part of the SAT was made optional. So several schools that required writing scores for ACT changed the requirement and converted it into a recommendation.
The exam’s composite score has more significance than the writing score. Many colleges do not consider the writing score at all.
Significance of ACT Scores
Colleges use various criteria to make an admission decision. They compare students coming from different schools based on ACT scores. The scores are also taken into consideration while granting merit aid and scholarships.
Usually, schools allow the public to access their ACT scores. Their reputation depends on the high scores secured by their students. If the average composite score of the students is 19, the school does not enjoy the status of being elite or highly selective.
Good ACT Scores
Not many students get perfect ACT scores. The students who secure a score of 34, 35, 36 are among the best performers in the nation. To gain admission into the most selective universities, you must have an aim to get a 30 plus composite score.
Private universities are quite competitive, so you will need to get 30 or more scores to gain admission into Ivy League schools. Public universities accept scores that are slightly less.
Low ACT Scores
If your score is not good enough, you do not need to panic. Even if your scores are low, you can get admission into a school. Many good colleges recognize the inherent issues with high-stakes examinations and make admission decisions based on other criteria.
The ACT scores are just one component of the school application. If you have secured high grades in challenging classes, you can improve your chances of gaining admission. Some schools have holistic admissions. It is possible to use your impressive record of extracurricular activities, excellent application essay, and glowing recommendation letters to get admitted to such schools.
Generally, schools look at both the SAT and the ACT scores to know your academic aptitude. So if your SAT scores are good, they can help you in gaining admission.
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