Subscribe

Get exclusive test prep info now!

Since score matters, sign up and get our proven test prep tips & 40% off our test prep books. And best of all, it's free!

After taking the ACT® test you will typically be able to view your scores online within two weeks, and score reports are sent to your high school and colleges in two to eight weeks. But what do those scores mean? Understanding how well you did on the ACT can often be a hard task due to the way they calculate your scores.

The four multiple choice tests, including English, mathematics, reading, and science, are first scored individually with the number of answers you got right. ACT does not deduct points for incorrect answers, meaning there is no penalty for guessing, so you should try to answer all of the questions in the allotted time for each section. Then, ACT converts your raw scores into scale scores so they all have the same amount of weight. Your composite score is the average of these four numbers. Your individual scores and composite score will range from 1 being the low to 36 being the high.

You will also receive subscores, including usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills for the English section; algebra, geometry, and trigonometry for the mathematics section; social studies/natural sciences and arts/literature for the reading section; and then the science section which is scored in its completion. The English test has 75 questions, the mathematics test has 60 questions, and the reading and science each have 40 questions.

The writing test is also scored on a scale of 1 to 36. You will also receive four writing domain scores, including "Ideas and Analysis," "Development and Support," "Organization," and "Language Use and Conventions," which are scored on a scale of 2 to 12. These scores do not affect your composite score and are scored separately.

Check out the national rankings to see how well you did in comparison to the rest of the recent high school graduates and also to get a sense of your relative strengths and weaknesses.

Getting the best score doesn't always mean acing the test either. Sometimes a high enough score to get into your college of choice is all you need, so keep in mind your individual academic goals when gauging how well you did. Depending on your college requirements, you can retake the test up to 12 times.

The average scores by state for the ACT are below. If you know your score already, you can compare it to the average given here.

State Rank Composite Score English Math Reading Science
National - 21.0 20.4 20.8 21.4 20.9
Connecticut 1st 24.4 24.5 24.1 24.7 23.8
Massachusetts 1st 24.4 24.2 24.6 24.6 23.8
New Hampshire 3rd 24.3 24.1 24.1 24.7 23.9
Maine 4th 24.2 24.2 23.9 24.6 23.6
New York 5th 23.7 23 23.8 23.9 23.5
Delaware 6th 23.5 23.2 23 24.1 23.1
Vermont 6th 23.5 23.2 23 24.1 23.2
New Jersey 8th 23.2 22.9 23.7 23.3 22.6
Rhode Island 9th 23.1 23 22.6 23.8 22.5
Virginia 9th 23.1 22.8 22.8 23.6 22.8
Pennsylvania 11th 22.9 22.5 22.8 23.2 22.5
Idaho 12th 22.7 22.3 22.2 23.4 22.4
Maryland 12th 22.7 22.3 22.5 23.2 22.5
Minnesota 12th 22.7 21.8 22.8 23 22.7
California 15th 22.5 22.1 22.7 22.6 22
Washington 16th 22.4 21.5 22.4 22.7 22.4
Iowa 17th 22.2 21.6 21.5 22.7 22.3
Wisconsin 17th 22.2 21.6 22 22.5 22.3
Indiana 19th 22.1 21.5 22 22.6 21.8
Ohio 20th 22 21.4 21.7 22.5 22.1
Kansas 21st 21.9 21.3 21.6 22.4 21.8
South Dakota 21st 21.9 21 21.7 22.4 22.1
Missouri 23rd 21.7 21.4 21 22.2 21.7
Nebraska 24th 21.5 21.1 21 21.9 21.6
Oregon 24th 21.5 20.8 21.4 21.1 21.4
Alaska 26th 21.1 20.1 21.1 21.9 20.9
District of Columbia 26th 21.1 20.5 21.1 21.5 20.7
Georgia 28th 21 20.6 20.5 21.6 20.9
Nevada 28th 21 20.1 21 21.4 20.9
Texas 30th 20.9 19.8 21.1 21.1 21
West Virginia 31st 20.8 20.6 19.7 21.5 20.7
Colorado 32nd 20.7 20.2 20.4 21 20.8
Illinois 32nd 20.7 20.3 20.7 20.8 20.6
Oklahoma 32nd 20.7 20.1 19.8 21.5 20.7
North Dakota 35th 20.6 19.6 20.6 20.7 20.8
Arkansas 36th 20.4 20 20 20.9 20.3
Montana 36th 20.4 19.1 20.4 21 20.5
South Carolina 36th 20.4 19.8 20.2 20.9 20.4
Utah 39th 20.2 19.4 19.8 20.9 20.4
Wyoming 39th 20.2 19.4 19.9 20.6 20.4
Michigan 41st 20.1 19.4 19.9 20.3 20.4
New Mexico 41st 20.1 19.1 19.8 20.6 20.3
Kentucky 43rd 20 19.5 19.5 20.3 20.1
Arizona 44th 19.9 18.8 20.2 20.2 19.7
Florida 44th 19.9 18.9 19.6 21 19.5
Tennessee 46th 19.8 19.5 19.3 20.1 19.9
Louisiana 47th 19.4 19.2 18.9 19.7 19.4
Alabama 48th 19.1 18.8 18.4 19.7 19.1
Mississippi 49th 19 18.7 18.3 19.3 19
North Carolina 49th 19 17.6 19.5 19.2 19
Hawaii 51st 18.5 17.2 19.1 18.6 18.4

Get the best score on the ACT: See practice testssample questions, and the ACT Prep Guide.