ACT Score Wise US Colleges and Schools

The ACT, an abbreviation of American College Testing, is a standardized evaluation test for College admissions in US. Schools and colleges in the United States use ACT scores to determine student’s academic ability and prepare the merit on the basis of ACT Scores. But it is pertinent to mention here that ACT Score is not the only determination of merit in college admissions. Student’s GPA, Essay, leadership qualities, and participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are also checked. Hence to be accepted to the prestigious colleges, you need to pay attention to all of these factors.

Understanding ACT Score

The ACT test score ranges from 1-36. According to the latest publications by ACT, the current national ACT average Score in 2022 is 19.8

ACT Test Sections and Details

  • Four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. The fifth section, essay writing is optional.
  • Questions: There are 215 questions (excluding one optional essay),
  • Time: 2 hours and 55 minutes.
  • Essay time: Additional 40 minutes

When are ACT Test dates 2023-24?

Most U.S. states offer the ACT seven times a year in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July.


THE DETAILED ACT SCHEDULE 2023-24 IS GIVEN HERE. CHECK THE test dates and registration schedule.

Best Suited Colleges for ACT Score

36 ACT Score Best Colleges35 ACT Score Best Colleges34 ACT Score Best Colleges
33 ACT Score Best Colleges32 ACT Score Best Colleges31 ACT Score Best Colleges
30 ACT Score Best Colleges29 ACT Score Best Colleges28 ACT Score Best Colleges
27 ACT Score Best Colleges26 ACT Score Best Colleges25 ACT Score Best Colleges
24 ACT Score Best Colleges23 ACT Score Best Colleges22 ACT Score Best Colleges
21 ACT Score Best Colleges20 ACT Score Best Colleges19 ACT Score Best Colleges
18 ACT Score Best Colleges17 ACT Score Best Colleges16 ACT Score Best Colleges
15 ACT Score Best Colleges14 ACT Score Best Colleges13 ACT Score Best Colleges

How Many Times Should I Take the ACT?

You can take ACT for a maximum of 12 times, as ACT Inc. does not allow a student to appear more than 12 times. However, repeating ACT for 2 to 3 times will be sufficient. As after 3 attempts, chances of improving your scores are very low.

Does retaking ACT improve scores?

Yes, more than 35% of the students retake ACT and data from the ACT website shows that retaking the ACT significantly improves scores. Majority of the students taking ACT for the first scored from 14 to 20, while majority of the students who took ACT again scored from 20 to 25. Hence it is very clear that retaking ACT improves scores.

How many students retake ACT?

Thirty-five percent of the students took the ACT more than once in 2022 as compared to 32% in 2021.

When should I take the ACT for the first time?

The best time to take ACT is February and April of your Junior year. This will help you appear in ACT multiple times to improve your score. Although, you can delay it till your senior year, but doing so will minimize the number of chances you can avail. ACT is held normally 6 to 7 times a year, but you cannot appear in ACT every time due to your school assignments and exams.  Also, after first appearance, you must take your time to prepare well and accordingly so that your 2nd or 3rd attempt gives you the best results.

Also please note that it may take upto 24 days to receive your ACT Score without writing. If you take ACT with writing, then you result may take 1 to 2 months. Hence, your last attempt should be at least 2 months before your college application deadline.

What is ACT superscore?

ACT superscore comprises highest section scores (in English, Reading, Math, and Science) across all test dates you’ve sat for. ACT scores report mentions superscores hence the college admissions officers will be able to see your ACT superscore in addition to individual test scores on your ACT score report.

What is national average ACT SCORE 2022?

According to the latest publications by ACT, the current national ACT average Score in 2022 is 19.8 however, the average state score of each state is different from this national average, as some states require all students to take ACT, and some don’t. States that require all students to take the ACT tend to have lower averages than states that don’t because normally the students with better grades only tend to appear in ACT in states where it is mandatory for every student to appear in the test.

National ACT average score is declining, which means that the test is getting tougher and tougher every year. The national ACT average 2022 is the lowest average in last 3 decades.

What is a good ACT Score?

26-30 is considered good ACT Score while 31-35 is the highest range of ACT Score. However, it also depends on the schools and colleges you are considering. Some colleges require very high ACT score; some require average while some may accept below average ACT Score. A score of 23 on the ACT is above the current national average and will make you a strong applicant at many universities, but it may fall below the average score for accepted students at more selective colleges. The higher your ACT score, the more options are open to you.

Following table will help you better understanding of your ACT score generally.

31 – 35HighestBest
26-30Above AverageVery Good
20 – 25AverageGood
15-19Below AverageNot good
1-10LowestVery Poor

How many students take ACT?

1.3 million Students in the U.S. high school graduating class of 2022 took the ACT test, an estimated 36 percent of graduates nationwide.

What is the lowest ACT score colleges will accept?

Colleges That Accept Average ACT Score. In general, many US colleges and universities accept applicants with 16 or 17 ACT scores. In fact, an ACT score of 16 or lower is accepted by 33 schools.

What ACT score is needed for Ivy League?

A minimum ACT score of 32 is required to get into an Ivy League School. The minimum score is 32 at Harvard and Yale.

Average Ivy League Schools ACT Scores

Average Ivy League ACT Score is 34. Almost all Ivy League colleges and Universities accept ACT score from 33-35. Below is a list I’ve compiled of ACT composite score ranges for Ivy League schools. Brown University: 33-35

  • Columbia University: 33-35
  • Cornell University: 32-35
  • Dartmouth College: 32-35
  • Harvard University: 33-35
  • University of Pennsylvania: 33-35
  • Princeton University: 33-35
  • Yale University: 33-35

Hence, if you are targeting Ivy League Colleges then you must aim 34 ACT score.

What ACT Score is required for Harvard?

Average ACT Score for Harvard is 34. You must have minimum of 33 ACT score if you are aiming Harvard, however, 34 and above score enhances your chances of admission at Harvard.

What College or School has the highest average ACT score?

California Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvey Mudd College have the highest average ACT score of 35.