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Ace the ACT: Comprehensive Guide, Tips, and Resources for Success

4 Min Read
July 04, 2023

The ACT is a crucial test for high school students who want to attend college. With so much riding on it it's important to aim for the highest score possible. But how do you set the right target score for yourself? And what steps can you take to achieve your goal? In this blog post, we'll provide insights on how to aim for a high ACT score and maximize your chances of getting into your dream college.

What is ACT?

The ACT is a test that most colleges and universities use to decide whether to admit a student. This test is a pencil-and-paper test that consists of multiple-choice questions, and is managed by ACT, Inc.

The ACT exam's goal is to assess how ready a high school student is for college, and to provide colleges with a single data point that can be used to compare all applicants. In addition to standardized test scores, college admissions officers consider factors such as high school GPA, classes taken in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. It is important to note that the significance of ACT scores in the college application process varies depending on the school.

Generally speaking, the higher you score on the ACT and/or SAT, the more college attendance and funding options will be available to you. Therefore, it is important to aim for a high score on the ACT to increase your chances of getting into your desired college or university and securing financial aid.

What is a good ACT Score?

A good score on the ACT test puts you above most other test-takers. If you get a composite score of 19-20 or higher, that's considered pretty good by most colleges. However, some competitive colleges might require a higher score than that, so it's better to aim for a score in the top 25%, which is around 24.

The ACT test has four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each section is scored from 1 to 36, and your total score is the average of those four scores. To get a good overall score, you should aim for around 24 on each section.

You can use percentiles to see how your score compares to others who took the test. Here's a table showing what's generally considered a good ACT score based on percentiles, but keep in mind that these numbers can change from year to year.

Top University ACT Scores

Are you curious about the schools in the United States with the highest average ACT scores? Surprisingly, it's not Harvard or Stanford. Want to know which schools made the top of the list? Here's the information you're looking for!


25th Percentile ACT Score

75th Percentile ACT Scor










Johns Hopkins







Want to know more about ACT Score? Find it here!

Strategize Your ACT Test for Maximum Grade

To get good grades, you need to prepare carefully on how you are going to take the test. Here are a few things you can do to better prepare for the test.

Familiarize Yourself with Test Structure and Format

In sequence, the ACT comprises a total of four mandatory test and one optional test:

Test Subjects

Total Questions




45 Minutes



60 Minutes



35 Minutes



35 Minutes


1 Essay

40 Minutes

The four compulsory tests in the ACT are entirely composed of multiple-choice questions, each with four or five answer options. There is no negative marking for incorrect responses, as the overall score is determined based on the number of correct answers. The optional writing test requires you to write one essay based on the prompt given to you.

Choose an Ideal and Realistic Target Score

It's important to set both an ideal and a realistic target score before starting your preparation. Doing so can help you plan your study time effectively and ensure that you focus on the areas that need the most improvement.

The ACT test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, and your final composite score is calculated based on your performance in the four compulsory tests. Your ideal target score is the score you hope to achieve, while your realistic target score is the score you believe you can realistically achieve. It's important to have a clear idea of both before beginning your preparation.

Get more tips for preparing for the ACT test here!

By setting a high target score and creating a study plan to achieve it, you can improve your chances of getting into the college of your dreams. Keep in mind that the ACT is just one part of your college application, and colleges will consider many other factors when making admissions decisions. So, make sure you put your efforts evenly on all other aspects like essay, CV, and your GPA.