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.

StateRankComposite ScoreEnglishMathReadingScience
National21.020.420.821.420.9
Connecticut1st24.424.524.124.723.8
Massachusetts1st24.424.224.624.623.8
New Hampshire3rd24.324.124.124.723.9
Maine4th24.224.223.924.623.6
New York5th23.72323.823.923.5
Delaware6th23.523.22324.123.1
Vermont6th23.523.22324.123.2
New Jersey8th23.222.923.723.322.6
Rhode Island9th23.12322.623.822.5
Virginia9th23.122.822.823.622.8
Pennsylvania11th22.922.522.823.222.5
Idaho12th22.722.322.223.422.4
Maryland12th22.722.322.523.222.5
Minnesota12th22.721.822.82322.7
California15th22.522.122.722.622
Washington16th22.421.522.422.722.4
Iowa17th22.221.621.522.722.3
Wisconsin17th22.221.62222.522.3
Indiana19th22.121.52222.621.8
Ohio20th2221.421.722.522.1
Kansas21st21.921.321.622.421.8
South Dakota21st21.92121.722.422.1
Missouri23rd21.721.42122.221.7
Nebraska24th21.521.12121.921.6
Oregon24th21.520.821.421.121.4
Alaska26th21.120.121.121.920.9
District of Columbia26th21.120.521.121.520.7
Georgia28th2120.620.521.620.9
Nevada28th2120.12121.420.9
Texas30th20.919.821.121.121
West Virginia31st20.820.619.721.520.7
Colorado32nd20.720.220.42120.8
Illinois32nd20.720.320.720.820.6
Oklahoma32nd20.720.119.821.520.7
North Dakota35th20.619.620.620.720.8
Arkansas36th20.4202020.920.3
Montana36th20.419.120.42120.5
South Carolina36th20.419.820.220.920.4
Utah39th20.219.419.820.920.4
Wyoming39th20.219.419.920.620.4
Michigan41st20.119.419.920.320.4
New Mexico41st20.119.119.820.620.3
Kentucky43rd2019.519.520.320.1
Arizona44th19.918.820.220.219.7
Florida44th19.918.919.62119.5
Tennessee46th19.819.519.320.119.9
Louisiana47th19.419.218.919.719.4
Alabama48th19.118.818.419.719.1
Mississippi49th1918.718.319.319
North Carolina49th1917.619.519.219
Hawaii51st18.517.219.118.618.4

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