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Thomas Broderick

Caltech ACT Scores

“The truth shall make you free,” is the motto of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In this article, I hope to reveal the truth of Caltech ACT scores. And though the truth may not write you a one-way ticket to Southern California for the next four years, it should give you a leg up in the application process.

A private university in Pasadena, California, Caltech undergraduates receive a Core Curriculum in addition to courses relating to their major. The Core Curriculum ensures that students receive a holistic education in the arts as well as the sciences. Graduates from Caltech can expect one of the highest median starting salaries in the United States. Also, if your dream is to one-day work for NASA (astronaut or otherwise), Caltech has been the springboard for many men and women who revolutionized space sciences.


caltech act scores -magoosh

A fictional (and mildly humorous) representation of Caltech faculty and researchers.

Photo by The Big Bang Theory Wiki


ACT Scores

As statistics is a class you’ll probably have to take at Caltech, let me throw some numbers at you:

  • Overall, Caltech has a 9% admissions rate.
  • 99% of accepted students graduated in the top 10% of their high school class.
  • The middle 50% of composite ACT Scores for accepted students was 34-35.
    • Like with many other ultra-competitive schools, that means 25% of applicants who submitted ACT scores made a perfect 36!

That’s one tall order if you hope to become a Caltech Beaver. Though Caltech has its pick of high test scores, let’s make sure that yours are good enough for an admissions counselor to give your application extra consideration.


The Perfect 36

Though plenty students accepted to Caltech didn’t make the perfect 36, it’s something to strive for if Caltech is your top choice. Unfortunately, I can’t offer any personal advice on earning a 36 (my highest ACT score was 31). However, I can point you in the right direction. Books and tutorials can get you started, but it all boils down to focusing on your weaknesses.

What I can say for certainty is that if you’re going for perfection, only cover topics that you’ve missed in the past. It does no good to practice easy questions.



caltech act scores

If you do get in to Caltech, you’ll get to pull some epic pranks!

Photo by namu.wiki

Final Thoughts

Considering Caltech is such a competitive school, don’t forget to explore other universities that offer similar opportunities. I’m not going to say “six of one, half a dozen” when it comes to competitive schools, but if you’re interested in science, mathematics, and/or technology, there are plenty of schools for you.

Good luck, future scientists. And if you should get in, start planning your pranks against MIT right away!


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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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