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Rachel Kapelke-Dale

USC ACT Scores

Hello, aspiring Travelers! (No, that’s not just for those of you who live outside of California—that’s actually the USC mascot!) So, you’re interested in the gorgeous, warm winters and lively campus atmosphere. Great! First, though, you have to get in. In this post, we’ll discuss how ACT scores can affect your chances of admission to USC.

If you’re still in the early days of your college search and are just familiarizing yourself with colleges, here’s a little bit about USC: located in sunny Los Angeles, USC offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It has a student population of 18,740 undergraduate students and 23,729 postgraduate students—so you definitely won’t be lonely!

Just the Facts

Here are the need-to-know facts about USC:

  • USC acceptance rate is 17.7%
  • The middle 50% of ACT scores for admitted students is 31-34

Pretty low rate and pretty high scores—but don’t despair! If you have your heart set on going to USC, you CAN make your score stand out with some work. How to do it? Well…! 

Getting There

USC has pretty high standards. Make sure you meet them by preparing early! Even if it’s not early, it’s still not an impossible goal for you; you’ll just need to do some really targeted practice.

First things first: take an ACT practice exam. I know, it takes a few hours—but the information it provides you is totally invaluable. When you’re done, preferably the next day, take a look at all of your answers. That’s right, even the ones you got right! You need to know what types of questions you got right by guessing, what types of questions you got wrong by (eek!) filling in the wrong bubbles (don’t do this!) and what areas, specifically, you need to brush up on before test day.

Other Steps

So what happens if you study like crazy and end up with a 30 on the ACT? First of all, don’t let that keep you from applying to USC if it’s your dream school! Remember, 31-34 is the middle 50%. That means that 25% of students admitted scored below 31.

No matter what your score is, just remember that it’s only once piece of the college admissions package. Your essays, your grades, and your teacher recommendations will all accompany your test scores. The admissions department will be looking at you in terms of all of these things—not just your ACT score!

Even if you can’t control your grades at this point, and won’t be able to control your teacher recommendations, your test scores and your essays are still in your hands—put in the work, make them the best they can be, and fingers crossed that fall will see you in sunny CA working on that tan!

Ready to get your highest ACT score? Start here.
About Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Rachel is a TOEFL and SAT/ACT blogger at Magoosh. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and is currently a doctoral candidate at University College London. She has taught the TOEFL for six years, and worked with nearly 1,000 students in that time. Currently, Rachel divides her time between the US and London. When she’s not teaching or studying, she’s either riding (horses), or writing (fiction), a pair of activities that sound so similar that it confuses even native English speakers. Follow Rachel on Twitter, or learn more about her writing here!

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