ACT Scores FAQ

What is the highest possible ACT score?


What is the score distribution?

  Composite Score Percentile  
  34+ 100%  
  32-33 99%  
  28 92%  
  27 89%  
  26 85%  
  25 80%  
  24 75%  
  23 69%  
  22 62%  
  21 55%  

How does ACT figure test scores?

For multiple choice sections:

A raw score is calculated by tallying the number of questions you answered correctly – there are no penalties for guessing. Then the raw score is scaled to ensure uniformity across testing administrations. The composite score 1 (lowest) to 36 (highest) is an average the scores of the four sections.

For the essay:

Your essay will be scored on all the elements of the writing – structure, grammar, tone, etc. Two trained readers will score your essay, each giving it a rating from 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest). The sum of these is your writing sub-score.

How can I view my scores?

You will need to create a web account through ACT. It usually takes about 10 or more days.

How long does it take to receive a score report?

Typically, reports are mailed to within 3 to 8 weeks after the test date. If you took the ACT Plus Writing, your report will be postponed approximately two additional weeks.

What can cause scores to take longer?

Scores take longer if:

  • Answer keys arrive late from your testing center
  • The information you enter into your test is inconsistent with your admission ticket
  • You fill in the answer sheet incorrectly
  • An abnormality is reported at your test center
  • You failed to pay registration fees
  • You tested standby

After I view my scores can I cancel reporting them to colleges or my high school?


How do I send my scores to others?

Requests are processed after your test has been scored and uploaded into the ACT database.

What are my choices for sending my scores and what are the costs?

The Regular Report is processed within one week after reception of the request.

Fees: $9.00 for recent reports (after 09/01/06) and $26.00 for archived reports

The Priority Report is available for scores sent in the US only and is processed within two work days after reception of the request. It is usually delivered three to four business days later.

Fees: $13.00 for recent reports (after 09/01/06) and $30.00 for archived reports

Can I send my multiple choice scores without the writing scores?


How can I send my scores more quickly?

Expedited reporting for delivery to institutions within the U.S. is available once your scores are ready for reporting. There are no options to speed the scoring of your tests.

Can I send my writing scores without my multiple choice scores?


How do I delete a record?

Send a written request to:

ACT Records
301 ACT Drive
P.O. Box 451
Iowa City, IA 52243-0451

Which scores are reported if I test more than once?

Separate records are maintained for each test date. If you request a report, only the record from the test date you request is released.

You may also ask to have more than one test date reported. However, no interchange of sub-scores from different testing administrations are allowed in order to create a new report.

If I report multiple scores to a college will they take my best score or an average?

It depends on the school, but most consider only the best score.

Who can see the essay I wrote?

The high school and colleges to which you have ACT report scores will be able to view an image of your essay online. The image of your essay will remain available for them to access for up to one year after you graduate from high school.