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Thomas Broderick

ACT Score Calculator

So the big day is coming up fast. You know the ACT inside and out, conquered time management, even completed a few practice tests. I bet you can’t wait to hit the hay.


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But before you doze off and get some well deserved rest, why not turn those practice test results into some solid predictions of ACT success? That’s right, we’re talking about the ACT score calculator.


What is an ACT score calculator?

Unlike the SAT, the ACT’s format and content have been relatively 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 like yourself will do on test day. Using their methods, you can make your own individualized prediction.

And no, their process isn’t magic. It’s statistics, which, by the way, isn’t on the ACT Math Test.

How it Works

To make your own ACT score calculator, you need the results of two ACT Practice tests taken AFTER you’ve completed the majority of your test prep. Why after? Well, the calculator only works if your practice test results reflect you knowledge/skills as they’ll be on test day. Here’s the process:

  • Take two timed ACT practice tests. For the calculator, we’re going to focus on the ACT English Test. Copy and paste the same procedure for the other three tests.
  • For example, let’s say on one English Test my raw score was 70/75. On the other test it was 72/75.
  • From my results I know that there is only a difference of 2 correct answers between my scores. 2 is now my range.
  • I infer that if I do a little bit worse than my low end on test day, my raw score result will be 68/75. That’s 70 – 2.
  • I infer that if I do a little bit better than my high end on test day, my raw score result will be 74/75. That’s 72+2.
  • I convert my two real raw scores and possible scores into composite scores. For me, my possible composite scores on the ACT English Test are 31(68/75), 33 (70/75), 34(72/75), and 35(74/75).


Why it’s Good to Have

Though standardized tests like the ACT will result in a final score, your score 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 view these probabilities. What it’s saying is that you may do a little bit worse (or better) on test day, but you’re most likely to earn the score you got on your practice test.

But here’s where it really comes in handy. There is a LONG list of reasons why you might be off your game on test day, even a few that you may not be aware of as 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 isn’t an exact science, 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. Practice, practice, practice will help you prepare to shoot for a higher score.

So get some sleep, ACT scholars. And don’t worry too much about the probabilities, except for those on the ACT Math test, of course.


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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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