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Thomas Broderick

ACT Reading Scores

When it comes to reading, which type of person describes you?


Love reading -Magoosh

Or maybe this?

ACT Reading Scores

No matter your particular tastes, your ACT Reading Score is much more than your love (or hate) relationship with the printed word. In this article, I will take you though the scoring system, what’s a good score, and how you can up your test taking game.

What’s in a Score?

Your ACT Reading score is determined by the number of correct answers you provide to 40 multiple choice questions. If you’re new to ACT Reading scores, or just ACT scores in general, here are a few things you should know right away:

  • Your ACT Reading score reflects your reading comprehension skills.
  • Scores are determined only by the number of correct answers.
  • You can (generally) miss two questions and still make a perfect 36.
  • In 2015, the average ACT Reading score was 21.4.


So is My ACT Reading Score Any Good?

Here’s the short answer: it depends on what you want to do with it. If you’re planning on attending college, you will need to consider your overall ACT composite score. Here’s an easy to use resource that will let you know if your score is high enough for your dream school:

Where Can I Get In With My Scores?

A certain ACT score may also quality you for different colleges’ merit scholarships. As these awards and their requirements vary among colleges, it’s best to check with the colleges in which you intend to apply.

If college is on your mind, you should know that according to ACT, a high school student who scores below a 23 on the ACT Reading Test will likely struggle in (and might not even pass) his or her college’s freshman year English course. If you’re in the below 23 group, use your high school’s senior English course as a way to improve your reading skills. By exposing you to a variety of reading materials, this course will also help you prep for retaking the ACT.

Finally, if your ACT Reading score negatively affected your overall composite score, focus on the Reading Test before you retake the ACT. Tips for ACT Reading will get you started on the path to success, but don’t forget that the best way to improve your score is through timed practice tests.

But I Love to Read! Why Did I Get a low ACT Reading Score?

First of all, I’m proud of you for loving reading. You have a natural advantage over other test takers. Even so, I doubt you usually read under timed conditions, in a stressful environment, and answer multiple choice questions about what you’ve read. Those factors combined can negatively affect your ACT Reading score. Never fear, for here are a few resources you can use to better understand the test, and put your skills to good use:

With these resources tucked away in your mind (along with a few practice tests), retaking the ACT Reading Test should accurately reflect your literary might.

Good luck, test takers, and I’ll see you in the library!

About Thomas Broderick

Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.

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