# SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Scaling a score converts the ACT raw score to a scaled score, which allows for comparisons between various test versions and all test takers. The raw score is the total number you have right in the section (whether math, science, reading or writing). A scaled score is what you get on each section of the ACT when you look up the raw score on the provided chart and figure out what your raw score means on the 1-36 scale. The composite score is then the average of four scaled scores, the highest possible composite is 36.

Every official ACT test has its own chart. This converts raw scores to scores on the 1-36 pt scale. If you want an estimate, you can use any available chart to grade your practice test. While it won't be accurate, because ACT varies how they scale the raw score according to each individual test, it can give you a good understanding of where you need improvement.

Let's take a look at an example scaling chart from ACT's site.

## Raw to Scaled: A Test's Transformation

 Scale Score English Math Reading Science Scale Score 36 75 60 40 40 36 35 72-74 58-59 39 39 35 34 71 57 38 38 34 33 70 55-56 37 37 33 32 68-69 54 35-36 — 32 31 67 52-53 34 36 31 30 66 50-51 33 35 30 29 65 48-49 32 34 29 28 63-64 45-47 31 33 28 27 62 43-44 30 32 27 26 60-61 40-42 29 30-31 26 25 58-59 38-39 28 28-29 25 24 56-57 36-37 27 26-27 24 23 53-55 34-35 25-26 24-25 23 22 51-52 32-33 24 22-23 22 21 48-50 30-31 22-23 21 21 20 45-47 29 21 19-20 20 19 43-44 27-28 19-20 17-18 19 18 41-42 24-26 18 16 18 17 39-40 21-23 17 14-15 17 16 36-38 17-20 15-16 13 16 15 32-35 13-16 14 12 15 14 29-31 11-12 12-13 11 14 13 27-28 8-10 11 10 13 12 25-26 7 9-10 9 12 11 23-24 5-6 8 8 11 10 20-22 4 6-7 7 10 9 18-19 — — 5-6 9 8 15-17 3 5 — 8 7 12-14 — 4 4 7 6 10-11 2 3 3 6 5 8-9 — — 2 5 4 6-7 1 2 - 4 3 4-5 — — 1 3 2 2-3 — 1 - 2 1 0-1 0 0 0 1

As the chart above shows us, the raw score on the ACT, once it is calculated, doesn't tell us much about how we compare to others. Because ACT inputs variations in each test, you need their conversion scale in order to get an accurate scaled score. The scaled scores reflect how well you did in relation to other students who took the same test you did. If a test is relatively easy and more people did better, then a higher raw score is needed to get the same scaled score.Every test grades a little differently, based on how ACT ranks the difficulty of that test version.

The raw score is the number of questions you answered correctly. Fractions less than ½ are rounded down. A converted score is the scaled score, between 1 and 36, that is scaled according to ACT's formula. Once you check your raw score against the chart that the ACT provides for each specific test, you can figure out your scaled score.

Scores need conversion because the ACT weighs questions by level of difficulty and so there is a slight variation per test. Once you take enough practice tests, you’ll begin to notice that there is a slight variation in the conversion. This is ACT accounting for the level of difficulty variation in each test by scaling scores to make sure that they are consistent across multiple test dates. With this method, the ACT can make sure that the April ACT will represent the same level of skill as the June ACT.

If you took ACT plus writing, note that your ACT writing is not part of your reported composite score. The composite score is valued more by colleges, but your essay being a high score can still help with college admissions, so make sure to put in a good effort on the essay!

## What’s Next?

Take a look at ACT Past Scores and Trends to help you better understand the test.

If you want help interpreting your test results, we've got you covered!

Look into the best ACT prep websites that you should be using, or if you're a home schooled student, learn how to register for the next round of testing.

Whatever you concern, chances are that we've got your back! But if there's something that you want to know about and you think we haven't covered it, leave us a comment! Let us know your thoughts and we promise to address them!

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Anna Aldric

Anna graduated from MIT where she honed her research interests in Earth Science and Social/Political Science. She has years of tutoring experience, loves watching students learn and grow, and strongly believes that education is the cornerstone of our society. She is passionate about science, books, and non-profit work.

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