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Thomas Broderick

ACT Math Test Scores

While taking the ACT Math Test, you might feel like this:

ACT Math Scores Good -Magoosh

or this:

ACT Math Scores Bad -Magoosh

No matter your relationship with Math, your score on the ACT Math will be somewhere between 1 and 36. I know you’re probably sick of numbers at this point, but it’s time to break down what your ACT Math test score actually means, and where you go from there.

By the Numbers

Your score on the ACT Math is calculated by the number of correct responses you provide to 60 multiple choice questions covering Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. I know that sounds like a mouthful, so here are a few bite sized pieces of information you should know right away:

  • In 2015, the national average ACT Math Score was 20.8. To earn that, you would need to answer 31/60 questions correctly.
  • Students hoping to be eligible for their states’ lottery scholarship should try to earn at least a 21 on the ACT Math Test.
  • Like all portions of the ACT, there is no penalty to one’s score for guessing incorrectly on the ACT Math Test.

To see where you stand compared to other test takers in your state and the rest of the U.S., ACT has crunched the numbers for you:

2015 ACT National and State Scores

ACT has also done some interesting research on how ACT Math scores reflect college success. According ACT, if you score a 23 or above on the ACT Math Test, you have a good chance of passing your future college’s freshman year Math course. And before you go saying, “I thought I was done with Math in high school!,” know that just about every liberal arts college requires at least one Math course for graduation.

So I Have A Score. What Do I Do With It?

That’s a great question, and one that has many answers depending on your plans after high school. Here’s a few thinks to ask yourself once you have your ACT Math test score:

  • Do I want to apply to college scholarships?
    • Do these scholarships require a certain ACT Math score?
  • Is my ACT Math score significantly (three points or more) lower than any other part of my ACT results?
  • What is the average ACT score of students who were admitted to colleges in which I’m  interested?
    • Some colleges and college guides provide specific information on successful applicants’ ACT Math Test scores.

As everyone’s needs are different, here are a few excellent resources to read as you consider your next steps.

If you’re still unsure about what to do next, it’s always a good idea to go over your results with your Math teacher or high school counselor.

If you’re about to take the ACT for the first time, or if it’s your third round with the ‘beast,’ good luck, and don’t forget your calculator!


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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