If you recently received your ACT® score report, you might be curious to know what ACT percentiles mean. In this blog, we will discuss ACT percentiles, how they are calculated, and why they are important.
What Does ACT Score Percentile Mean?
Your ACT score percentile determines how you performed compared to other test takers. Your percentile specifically informs you of the number of persons who scored lower or the same as you. For example, a 75 percentile score indicates that you performed better than 75% of the test takers. In your score report, you receive the percentiles for both your ACT composite score and section score.
Before learning about score percentiles any further, be sure to read our ACT scoring guide to understand everything about the ACT scoring system.
What is a good ACT percentile?
A percentile of 75 is considered to be quite good for the ACT test. In order to achieve that percentile, you would need a composite score of 24.
How Do You Find the Percentile for Your ACT Score?
Every year, the ACT releases the score percentiles. You can check the ACT percentile chart below to know the composite and section score percentiles released by the ACT for the year 2022-23.
|Score||ACT Score Percentiles|
ACT subscore percentiles
The ACT subscores provide more specific information about your test performance and highlight areas where you might need to make improvements. Since 2016, the ACT has not released any information about subscore percentiles.
How do ACT percentiles get calculated?
The ACT does not disclose any percentile calculation rules or guidelines. Every year, the percentiles are directly released for the reference of test takers.
How to find the average ACT percentile scores for your college?
The average ACT percentile may differ from college to college. Please visit the websites of your prospective colleges to know about their admission requirements.
Do ACT percentiles change from year to year?
The ACT percentiles more or less remain the same every year. However, there are slight changes between years.
How Can Knowing Your ACT Percentile Help You?
You should know that colleges mainly look at your composite score for admission purposes. However, your ACT score percentile helps admission officers analyze your performance and compare your results with other test takers. Moreover, knowing your percentile can help you interpret your own performance. For example, if you scored a 30 on English and a 25 on Reading, it may not seem like a major difference. But, when you look at your percentile, you would have received 90 percentile points for English and 75 percentile points for Reading. That’s a huge difference! As you can see, your English score is pretty good, but a jump of 4-5 points on Reading could get you around the 87th percentile.