Yes—eventually (and definitely the night before the exam!) But before you doze off and get some well-deserved rest, consider turning those practice test results into some solid predictions of your ACT success. That’s right, we’re talking about an ACT score calculator!
What is an ACT Score Calculator?
Unlike the SAT, the ACT’s format and content have remained more or less the same for the last twenty-five years. With so much data available, ACT has been able to make predictions about how future test-takers will score. Using their methods, you can make your own individualized prediction of your score. In other words, you’re calculating your ACT score before taking the test—pretty cool.
And no, the process isn’t magic. It’s statistics (which, by the way, aren’t on the ACT Math Test).
How it Works
To use the ACT score calculator, you’ll need the results of two ACT Practice tests taken AFTER completing the majority of your test prep.
Why after? Well, the calculator only works if your practice test results reflect your knowledge and skills as they’ll be on test day.
Once you have the tests in hand, here’s the process for calculating your score range:
- Take your two timed ACT practice exams. For the purposes of this calculator, we’re going to focus on the ACT English Test, though you’ll repeat the same process for the other sections.
- For example, let’s say on one English Test, my raw score was 70/75. On the other test, it was 72/75.
- My results show a difference of 2 correct answers between my scores. 2 is now my range.
- If I do a little bit worse than my low score on test day, my raw score will be 68/75 (or 70 – 2).
- If I do a little bit better than my high score on test day, my raw score will be 74/75 (or 72 + 2).
- Finally, I’ll convert my two real raw scores and possible scores into scaled scores. In this scenario, my possible scaled scores on the ACT English Test are 31 (68/75), 33 (70/75), 34 (72/75), and 35 (74/75).
- Repeat this process for each section, then take the average of your highest scores in each section (by adding them together and dividing by four) and the average of your lowest scores in each section. Voila! There’s your predicted ACT score range.
Note: If you want a quick way to score your practice ACTs, you can also use the quiz below to get numbers for your ACT score calculator quickly and accurately!
Score Your ACT Practice Test
ACT Score Calculator: A Summary
In brief: Examine two recent practice tests and take note of your scores. Then, look at your lowest scores in each section and lower them a little; look at your highest scores and raise them a little. Convert these four raw scores into scaled scores, then add the four highest sectional scores for each exam together and divide by four, finishing by doing the same with the lowest sectional scores. This will give you four results for your probable ACT score, allowing you to see your predicted composite range.
Why It’s Good to Have an ACT Score Calculation
Though standardized tests like the ACT will result in a single final score, the score you get reflects a range of possibilities that you could have earned on the test. ACT fully understands this fact, and will even tell you your personal range when you receive your results.
An ACT score calculator is another way to see this range. You may fall a little bit outside of this range on test day, but you’re most likely to earn something close to the score you got on your practice tests.
Another reason that the ACT score calculator really comes in handy? For whatever (unlikely) reason, you might be off your game on test day, even if you’re not be aware of it while you’re testing. If your results are below your possible range, it’s a red flag that something went wrong that day, and it’s time to sign up to retake the ACT.
Though the ACT score calculator doesn’t give you one precise number that you definitely will score on test day, it will let you know if everything went as expected. If you’re shooting for a higher score that’s outside your personalized range, that’s okay, too. In fact, that’s great! Practice, practice, practice—with resources like our free ACT practice test and tips for taking practice tests—will help you get there.
So now it’s time to get some sleep, ACT scholars. Dream of the great places you’ll go once you get the exact score you want!
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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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