ACT Scores and the College Admissions Process: Everything You Need to Know
ACT scores play a significant role in higher education. Every school, however, has specific requirements regarding ACT scores. For example, Ivy League schools require a minimum score of 30. On the other hand, local universities, only require a score of 18. Some schools don’t require ACT scores at all, so it does vary considerably. When you have good ACT scores, however, it could be your ticket to a scholarship and that will help with college expenses.
So, what do you need to know about ACT scores and the college admission process?
How are ACT Scores Reached?
There are four parts of the ACT examination: Reading, English Language, Mathematics, and Science. Students are scored between 1 and 36 for each category. A composite score is reached by devising the average of the four examinations. Universities will then use the ACT score to determine eligibility.
Between 2017 and 2019, over five million students took the ACT examination. It shows the importance of the ACT test.
How Writing Scores Help Students Enroll in College
A 12-point scale is used to score students who take the writing test along with the ACT examination. If a student scores highly, between 10-12, admission to elite schools would be more likely.
Writing, however, was made optional in 2016 for the SAT. It meant schools had to change their guidance. Students were recommended to take the writing exam rather than make it a standard requirement. Writing scores are important but the composite score is of greater significance, however.
It’s important to remember that some universities don’t consider the writing score and instead focus their attention on the SAT and ACT scores.
The Importance of ACT Scores
Admission choices for universities and colleges vary, considerably. Each uses different criteria to compare students based on their ACT scores. These are also used to determine scholarships and financial aid.
ACT scores are typically viewable to the public by universities and colleges. These help to attract students and build their reputation. Of course, if the ACT scores drop low, to 18 or 19, it isn’t regarded as a selective or elite school.
The Demand for High ACT Scores
Perfect ACT scores are difficult to achieve, and not many students get them. If a student scores between 34 and 38, they are thought of as the best in the country. Scores of 30 and over is likely to get a student admission into an elite school.
If you wanted to attend a public university, the baseline ACT score needed would be 18. Anything above that would likely get you accepted in most schools.
Don’t Panic with a Low ACT Score
ACT and SAT exams put students under extreme pressure, and some will likely fail. Fortunately, many colleges base admissions on other criteria, so even if your ACT or SAT scores are low, they won’t prevent you from being accepted.
For instance, if you excel in certain subjects, a college will consider that as much as your ACT scores. You could improve your chances of being accepted into a school through recommendation letters, extracurricular activities, and your application essay. Those things matter too, so even if your SAT or ACT scores aren’t good, you still have a chance to get into college.
Schools want to see good SAT and ACT scores; however, you have another opportunity to excel. Of course, getting high scores on both tests would be a massive advantage. You stand a greater chance of being accepted into a school when your scores are high, but your academic achievements go a long way too. So, don’t discount your chances just because your ACT score isn’t great.