ACT Scoring

The examinations are scored on a scale of 1 − 36 basis, with 36 being the highest possible score that can be granted. These exams are multiple-choice based and their results are given in the form of percentile. Thus, 36 the highest score in exam is 99th percentile which means that 99% of all students who appeared in exam got lower score than that. However the subjective part is calculated on a different basis. To compute the marks of this portion, marks are given on the scale of 1 − 6, by two different judges. Then the final result is declared on the range of 1 − 12 bais, 12 being the highest mark and being the 99th percentile score.

Currently, there is no system which can equate or correlate the scores of SAT and ACT. This is mainly because a student has to appear for five exams in ACT and for three exams in SAT. But recently, officials in the University of California system tried to correlate the two test scores and tried to show correlation between the scores at the old SAT scale (upto 1600), the new SAT scale (2400) and the ACT scale. Though the correlation in not direct and perfect, the college authorities found the same result that the College Board found after a two-year study of scores in the mid-1990s. The relation shows perfect positive correlation which refers that the students doing well on the SATs are highly likely to do equally well on the ACTs, and vice versa.

ACT Score Computations

Scoring for the ACT test is done in three steps.

  1. The first step of evaluation is the checking of student's answer sheet and looking the correct answers. The wrong answers are simply ignored as there is no negative marking. Once the initial scores are decided, these scores are then converted into “scale scores,” which is a yardstick for measuring the performance of the candidate. These scale scores are valid and each numerical value is definitely equivalent to some numerical score achieved on a different testing date and exam revision.
  2. The scores so obtained are then summed up to give average marks obtained in all the subjects. This is known as student's composite score. The composite is rounded to the nearest whole number and is valued on the scale of 1 − 36 as the subject exams. Apart from this average marks which is the focus of the result sheet, the ACT also offers several subscores per subject which reveal the student's skill levels in the tested subjects.
  3. Subscores are measured on a 1 − 18 scale. There is no direct mathematical relation of these sub scores to the overall test scores which automatically implies that they won't be added in the score-reports. But these sub scores do help to find out the strength of student and also his weak areas. The subscores are broken down as follows: The English exam has subscores for usage/mechanics and rhetoric skills; the reading test is broken down into social studies/science reading skills and arts/literature reading skills; and the mathematics test is broken down into pre-algebra/elementary algebra skills, intermediate algebra/coordinate geometry skills, and plane geometry/trigonometry skills. The science test has no subscores; the score for the science exam is based on the total list of questions in the exam.

Errors in Scoring and Scaling

If student thinks that ACT test was scored incorrectly, and he wants his paper to be re-scored he can apply for the same to the authorities. Both multiple-choice questions as well as subjective paper can be re-checked. However a fee of $60 has to be in all ($30 for each set), if the student wants to get both the papers re-checked. If the student wishes to be present during the re-checking, he can do so but there is an extra fees for that as well. If any error is founf in calculation of scores during re-checking and the student has to give a re-test, he can give it without occuring any additional examination fees. Amended score reports will be sent to the schools listed by the student on the original registration form at no charge.

In case of discrepancies at the time of examination at the test centerwhich includes cancellations, mistimings, deviations from standard procedures, compromises of the entire process or suspicions of advance notice of the exam material, ACT comes into action and investigates into the matter. If it is revealed that the discrepancy was due to the fault of ACT, the student may take a re-test without any additional cost. However the same set of examination will be given to him as for which he has originally signed up which means if the student registered for the ACT exams without the writing test, they cannot add the writing test when they schedule a new test date, or drop it if they originally signed up for the ACT and Writing set.