Get matched with vetted scholarships and enter our
Please select whichever best describes you for the upcoming 2024 - 2025 academic year.
I’m a high school student I’m a college or graduate student
100% Free. No Spam.
    Start typing in the text field above
    Advertiser disclosure

    Student-centric advice and objective recommendations

    Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.

    Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here.

    What is a Good ACT Score?

    By Savannah Dawson

    Prior to coming to Scholarships360 for her first internship in 2022, Savannah utilized her campus publications by joining various fashion publications that are offered at Ohio University. One of those publications is Thread Magazine, where Savannah has had the opportunity to work on articles related to world-wide related fashion news and events, as well as articles closer to home, such as a fashion piece on Athens hometown-hero Joe Burrow. This year, Savannah also had the opportunity to be a content writing intern for Aiken House, as well as a section editor for Southeast Ohio Magazine. In 2023, Savannah served as the Chapter President of her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. These collective experiences, as well as her experience currently working for Ohio University’s Undergraduate Admissions, has led her to Scholarships360 and aided in her passion for helping students better understand the college admissions process and financial aid. In her free time, Savannah enjoys horseback riding, watching Formula One races, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. Savannah will graduate from Ohio University in May 2024 with a degree in Journalism News and Information and a certificate in Italian Studies.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Reviewed by Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Updated: May 21st, 2024
    What is a Good ACT Score?

    If you are currently studying for the ACT, you may be asking yourself, “What is a good ACT score”? That is a question  that so many students wonder about before and after finishing their standardized tests. Let’s dive into what an ACT score means and how it applies to you as a student applying to college.

    What is the ACT?

    The ACT is an acronym for “American College Testing. The ACT exam is widely used by colleges and universities as part of the admissions process. High school students in grades 10 through 12 take the ACT. Sometimes, students will take the ACT as well as the SAT to see which they score higher on. The ACT has multiple parts– English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing portion. For each test (except for writing), there are 36 multiple choice questions with four answers to choose from. The composite score, or the important score that colleges will look at, is the average of the four tests rounded to the nearest whole number. 

    Students now have the option to take the ACT in digital format (the digital SAT as well!), so do your research and decide what format is best for you! 

    Things to keep in mind about the ACT

    Remember, a standardized test score does not make or break your college experience. There are many people who test low on standardized tests that have very high GPAs, and vice versa. Not everyone is a great test taker, and colleges understand that. So, if you are feeling like your ACT score isn’t deemed as “good”, do not worry. There are many other ways that colleges and universities will holistically view your application. 

    Why would having a good ACT score benefit me?

    If you do score high on the ACT, this is something that colleges and universities will consider. Test optional schools might also consider ACT scores if they are submitted. Scoring high on the ACT shows that you have impressive critical thinking and problem solving skills. If you do not score high, it does not mean that you don’t have those attributes, it could just mean that you show them in different ways. 

    Earning a high ACT score increases your chances of getting into certain colleges– especially depending on your major. Although there are many schools that are eliminating their SAT and ACT testing requirements, it is always a good idea to take the exam anyway. Many times, scholarships offered by colleges and universities use standardized test scores as a determining factor for awards. 

    See also: Should I take the ACT/SAT?

    What is a good ACT score?

    If you are looking to get into a more competitive college, you are going to want to aim for a 24 or higher for your composite score. A “good” score really comes down to what the average score is for your college or university’s acceptance. Not all colleges are looking for ACT and SAT scores in the top 25%. For the average student, a score of 19-20 is a pretty good score for acceptance at most colleges. 

    Don’t miss: How to reduce test taking anxiety

    How can I improve my ACT score?

    The ACT offers their own preparation website to help students prepare for the exam. The ACT provided prep offers live online classes, self-paced courses, and official ACT tutoring. ACT Prep and Subject Guides are also available (basically a set of textbooks and workbooks to help you along the way). 

    Most high schools offer after school ACT prep and/or access to tutors. If your high school doesn’t offer tutoring, there are many free online resources. All students can improve their ACT scores with time and effort!

    Related: College admissions guide for low test takers

    Final thoughts for students

    The ACT is really what you make of it. Sometimes, students find it hard to study for the ACT, while others find it easy to do so. Also, some students are better at the SAT than the ACT, which is totally fine!  Everyone is different, and it is ultimately up to what the colleges you are applying for are looking for and what makes you the most comfortable. So, if you do not feel comfortable with your ACT scores, you can always retake it, or take the SAT to see if you’re more confident with that exam. 

    See also: ACT vs. SAT: How to decide which test to take

    Additional resources 

    Whether you are looking to find out how the SAT compares to the ACT, or looking for ways to improve upon your ACT scores, Scholarships360 has you covered. We have resources such as Free ACT Prep, information on ACT Superscores, and information on whether or not you should send your standardized test scores. Good luck, and happy test taking!

    Frequently asked questions about ACT scores

    What is the average ACT score?

    The College Board website states that an average ACT score ranges between 17-24.

    What is the minimum ACT score to get into the Ivy League?

    Ivy League schools are the most competitive, so even if you have a perfect ACT score and everything else about your application is stellar, you may still be rejected (and remember, it’s not you!). That being said, most accepted Ivy League applicants have a better chance with a score of 30 or above. Remember that within the Ivy League there are some schools that are “most competitive.” For example, the average ACT at Harvard for the Class of 2025 was a 34

    3 reasons to join scholarships360

    • Automatic entry to our $10,000 No-Essay Scholarship
    • Personalized matching to thousands of vetted scholarships
    • Quick apply for scholarships exclusive to our platform

    By the way...Scholarships360 is 100% free!

    Join For Free