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Good vs bad scores on the ACT


With regard to grades in schools, we all worry about whether it’s a good grade or a bad grade! Fortunately, there’s no such thing when it comes to scores on the ACT! Scores that take you to your dream colleges are the good scores; scores that make admission officers call you for joining their colleges are super scores!

In this blog let’s discuss the score ranges on the ACT and the percentiles.

ACT scores scale from 1 to 36. This composite score is nothing but an average of 4 test scores (Reading, English, Math, and Science) on the same scale of 1 to 36. The average ACT score for the year 2017 was 21 in the US. A score of 34 lies in the 99th percentile, so we have definite proof that a score of 34 or more is not just a great score for college admissions, but also one that no one can lose sight of. Depending on the college which you wish to join, lower than 34 may also be more than sufficient. Let’s see some ACT score percentile comparison in the table below for a better understanding of the ACT scores.

ACT scores Percentile scale

34 99th percentile

30 94th percentile

26 82nd percentile

20 51st percentile


From the above table we can infer that a composite score above 26 can get you admissions in most of the good colleges since this score stays above 80th percentile. A score of 30 or more can ensure your admission to most of the top colleges in the United States. We can conclude that any score of 26 and above is a good score depending on the colleges.

It must also be kept in mind that most of the colleges take into account the “super score”, and your GPA and your personal details also play important roles in the admission process.