How the ACT is Scored

Published on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 by

Many of the students we work with don’t know how the ACT is scored. They’re accustomed to a 100 point grading scale, so a 36-point scale can seem quite confusing. Without knowing how these tests are scored, it becomes easy for students to expect too much gain from too little study. A one-point improvement can increase student rankings by as much as 7%. This is no small feat, and it requires no little amount of work. Larger gains require even more effort and dedication

Do your students know how many questions they need to answer correctly in each subject area in order to get the score they want? Well, now they can! Below is a link to something special that we have designed to help students figure out what they need to accomplish in order to get the scores they want.

It’s called the ACT Mastery Averaged Conversion Table. View it here.

Every ACT test has a conversion table. It changes from test to test. With the conversion table, ACT converts the students’ RAW scores (which means the number of questions they got right in each subject area) to their scale scores, from 1 to 36. The scale scores are then averaged and rounded to figure out the students’ composite scores.

The trouble with using an ACT conversion table as a tool is that, because it changes from test to test, it can be unreliable for students to use. Students may think that they need to get 40 questions correct to score a 20 on the ACT English test, when they really need to answer 45 correctly on that particular test. As a solution, we analyzed nine conversion tables that had been released by ACT and from those, we produced an averaged conversion table. With this tool, you can get the most accurate prediction of how many questions the students need to get right in each subject area in order to get their target scores.

All they have to do is find the scale score they want, then read across the row to find the approximate number of questions they need to get right in each subject area.