How the ACT is Scored

The ACT is actually a collection of four distinct tests: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Scores for each of the four tests range from 1 to 36. In addition, there is an optional Writing section that is scored on a scale of 0-12. Although the essay is officially “optional,” for most colleges, every college accepts the essay portion of the ACT. So, taking and acing it can be a real differentiator in admission.

ACT Test Components

Test Name Score Range

  • English 1 – 36
  • Math 1 – 36
  • Reading 1 – 36
  • Science 1 – 36
  • Writing (Optional) 0 – 12
  • Test Composite 1 – 36*

*The ACT composite score is calculated as the average of the English, Math, Reading, and Science Test scores.

In addition to the four scores of 1-36, students will receive four test-wide subscores:

  • A STEM Score: A measure of math and science proficiency.
  • Progress Toward Career Readiness Indicator: A measure of career readiness.
  • ELA Score: A combined score of the English, reading, and writing portions of The ACT. Note: A student must take the Writing Test to receive this score.
  • Text Complexity Progress Indicator: A measure of progress toward understanding complex texts they are likely to encounter in college and careers.

Students who take the optional ACT Writing test will receive a score of 2-12 plus four additional subscores.

For more information about the ACT, contact Chyten Educational Services at 800-428-8378 (TEST)