ACT Test Scores
Each of the multiple-choice sections of the ACT is called a Test (English Test, Mathematics Test, Reading Test, and Science Reasoning Test). Each test is given a score on a scale of 1 to 36. These four "scaled scores" are then averaged and rounded according to normal rounding rules to yield a Composite Score. It is this Composite Score that is most often meant when someone refers to your ACT score.
Your actual score report will also refer to "subscores," which are reported for your English Test, Mathematics Test, and Reading Test. These are based on your performance on a subset of the questions on each of these tests. Our experience has been that there is nothing to be gained from discussing them in detail with students. Reports from the field indicate that many college admissions professionals don't even glance at them or have the faintest idea of how to utilize them when making admissions decisions.
One important thing to say about ACT scores is that you don't have to be perfect to get a good score on the ACT. The truth is that you can miss a fair number of questions and still get a score that places you in the top 1% of all test takers. In fact, this test is so hard and the time limit is so unrealistic for most test takers that you can get a score that is at the national average (about a 21) even if you get almost half of the questions wrong.