ACT Science Scores

So you just completed a practice ACT Science Test, or have received your official ACT scores. There’s a number between 1 and 36 on your page. Here’s the first, and really most important thing to know about that number:

Your score on the ACT Science Test in no way reflects your knowledge of science.

Weird, right? Even if you’re at the top of your game in Biology or Chemistry, ACT Science is a different beast. Interpreting your score, and knowing what to do with it, takes some legwork. Let’s get to it!

ACT Science -Magoosh

This little guy might like science, but he has a lot to learn about ACT Science Scores!


Liam got a 35 on the ACT. Get a higher ACT score with Magoosh.

ACT Science Score Basics

If you’re in a hurry, for example running out the door to take the ACT, here are the three main pieces of information you need to know about ACT Science scores.

  • Like with all parts of the ACT, there is no penalty to guessing.
  • To achieve a perfect 36 on the ACT Science Test, you need to answer all 40 questions correctly.
  • To achieve a 21 (the national average, and cutoff for many states’ lottery scholarships) on the ACT Science Test, you need to answer 22 questions correctly.


What’s in an ACT Science Score?

The makers of the ACT have you covered:

Here’s breakdown of what the ACT has to say about its system:

  • Your ACT Science score is added to your English, Math, and Reading scores. Divide that number by 4 and you get your composite score.
  • ACT admits that though it gives specific scores to test-takers, the numbers fall within a range of potential scores. For example, if you earned a 28 on the Science Test, your range is 26-30. Basically that means if you took the test again the next day, you could do a little bit better or worse.


College Ready?

If you’re taking the ACT, you’re probably thinking about going to college. ACT knows that, and has done some research into how ACT scores relate to college success. Here’s what ACT has to say:

In a nutshell, a score of 23 on the ACT Science indicates that a student has a pretty good chance of passing a freshman year college science course.

If you’re score’s below 23, there are a few things you can do to raise your score and increase your chances of college success. As far as doing better on the ACT Science Test, check out these resources:

And don’t forget, once you’ve explored these resources, it’s time to practice, practice, practice. The ACT Science Test is very unique, and getting plenty of exposure to its passage types and questions is the only surefire way to test success.

To improve your chances of college success, think about taking a science course your senior year of high school. Even if it is not required for high school graduation, the colleges you’re considering likely require students to pass some science courses in order to graduate. Keeping your science skills and knowledge fresh will only make the transition to college much smoother.

Good luck, scientists. We’ll see you in the lab!


  • 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.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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