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Kristin Fracchia

ACT Scores for Top Universities

Have you been dreaming about Princeton’s hallowed halls since you were a wee lad? Had MIT or Caltech on the brain since you built your first AM radio? Or maybe you just nabbed a wicked awesome ACT score, and now Harvard is calling.

There’s a whole lot more that goes into gaining acceptance to one of the nation’s top universities than test scores, but it is one important piece of the puzzle. And no surprise here, the ACT scores of admitted applicants are quite impressive at the best schools in the U.S. Average ACT scores at the top 15 colleges in the United States are a whopping 10 or more points above the national average.

Here’s a list of the top 15 national universities in the country according to U.S News and World Report 2016 Best Colleges Rankings. Most schools report what is called the middle 50% of scores, so when you see 25th percentile below, this means 25% of admitted students scored below that score, and when you see 75th percentile, this means 25% of admitted students scored above that score.

Scroll down for the full picture or click on a school’s logo to jump to more information on that school’s ACT scores!

mitdartmouthprincetonharvardcolumbiauchicagobrownyalestanforddukecaltechjohnhopkinsnwpenncornell



*Note: ACT Writing Scores are based on the old Writing scoring system since colleges have not yet updated their scores to the new 1-36 scoring system.

Princeton University ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3135
English3235
Math3035
Writing8*10*

Check out more about Princeton ACT Scores.

Harvard University ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3235
English3335
Math3235
Writing8*10*

Check out more about Harvard ACT Scores.

Yale University ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3135

Check out more about Yale ACT Scores.

Columbia University ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3134
English3235
Math2935
Writing8*10*

Check out more about Columbia ACT Scores!

Stanford University ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3134
English3235
Math3035

Check out more about Stanford ACT Scores!

University of Chicago ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3235
English3335
Math3135

Check out more about U Chicago ACT Scores!

MIT ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3335
English3035
Math3235
Writing8*10*

Check out more about MIT ACT Scores!

Duke University ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3134
English3035
Math3235
Writing8*10*

Check out more about Duke ACT Scores!

University of Pennsylvania ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3134
English3235
Math3034
Writing8*10*

Check out more about University of Pennsylvania ACT Scores.

California Institute of Technology ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3435
English3435
Math3536

Check out more about Caltech ACT Scores!

John Hopkins University ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3134
English3135
Math3035
Writing8*10*

Check out more about JHU ACT Scores!

Dartmouth College ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3034

Check out more about Dartmouth ACT Scores.

Northwestern University ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3134
Math3035
Writing8*10*

Check out more about Northwestern ACT Scores!

Brown ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3034
English3035
Math2834

Check out more about Brown ACT Scores.

Cornell ACT Scores

 25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite3034

Check out more about Cornell ACT Scores.

And for more intel on your chances, Go4Ivy also has a tool that can help predict your admissions chances at competitive universities like the ones above that you can check out! 🙂

Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!
About Kristin Fracchia

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's sites are full of awesome, free resources that can be found by students prepping for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agony and bliss of train running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.


4 Responses to “ACT Scores for Top Universities”

  1. ad says:

    I have English score of 30. writing score of 9 and composite score of 34 for ACT
    Will this be sufficient for princeton

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      Your composite score is certainly within Princeton’s “middle 50%” range for accepted students. (Check out Princeton’s official ACT stats if you haven’t already.)

      Your English and Writing scores put you below the average section scores for Princeton admission, but they don’t necessarily disqualify you. From what i can tell, Princeton is more concerned with whole-test ACT scores, rather than your scores on individual sections. I’m not 100% sure on that, though. You may want to contact Princeton’s admissions department via email or phone to get their opinion as well.

  2. lareul says:

    Hi. I recently got a 34 composite – 35 english, and 33 math. I want to major in science and probably be a biomedical engineer, but I am worried that my math score won’t make the cut. I got a 35 on the science section though. Do colleges just focus on English, Math, and the composite, or do they look at science too (what i want to major in)? But math is needed in science…

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      Hi Laurel,

      First of all–congrats on such a strong score! You are definitely within the score range of these universities–your scores are between the 25th and 75th percentile for the schools in this article, which bodes well for admission! However, each school is different regarding how much weight they put on different sections. They will likely look at your overall scores, and your strong Science score will definitely be a boost when they see your intended major. However, the best course of action is to do some research into your target schools to see what is important to them. And, of course, remember that the ACT is only one part of the application–you should be sure to craft a strong application to showcase your talents and successes as well 🙂

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