What are your chances of acceptance?
Duke University
UCLA
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

#### Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

# How does the ACT scale work?

Hey guys, so I'm kinda confused. I've heard that the ACT score is scaled. Can someone break it down for me? How does a raw score convert into that 1-36 scale? Is it different for each section? Trying to get my head around this whole thing.

a month ago

Hello! You're exactly right, the ACT is indeed scored on a scaled system. Each of the four sections (English, Math, Reading, Science) yields a raw score, which is simply the number of questions answered correctly. This raw score is then converted into a scaled score on a 1-36 scale via a process called equating.

Here's how it works. Let's take the English section as an example: Let's assume there are 75 questions - if you get all the questions correct, your raw score would be 75. But this 75 isn't directly converted into the 1-36 scale. Instead, ACT applies a unique conversion chart for each test. The conversion charts account for slight differences in difficulty from one test to another, ensuring that a 36 on one test indicates the same level of proficiency as a 36 on another test- that's why we say the process is "scaled."

For example, on one given test iteration, maybe a raw score of 73 in English might translate to a scaled score of 34, while on another, it could potentially be a 33, based on the difficulty level of that specific test.

This process is repeated for each of the four sections resulting in four scores, each between 1 and 36. Your composite ACT score is then calculated by averaging these four scores (and rounding to the nearest whole number if necessary).

Note that there isn't a penalty for wrong answers on the ACT, so it's in your best interest to attempt all questions, even if it means guessing on some. Also, because of the scaling, you shouldn't stress too much if you get a few questions wrong - there's still a good chance you can score well on the scaled range!

This scoring can seem complex at first, but it's designed to be a fair and accurate reflection of your abilities. Knowing how it works can also help you strategize better. Good luck with your studying!

a month ago