Skills

Levels

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How Does the ACT Score?

How Does the ACT Score?

The ACT, or American College Test, is a series of multiple choice questions with an optional writing test. After the tests are taken, they are returned to for grading. Multiple choice answer sheets are scored by optical scan, with a computer noting which answers were bubbled in correctly and which were not. The essay portion is graded by professional educators who use a rubric to determine the points awarded. The rubric, which is not made public, awards credit based on grammar, spelling and punctuation, as well as reading comprehension.

Grading System The test measures comprehension and skill level in five academic areas: English, math, reading, writing and scientific reasoning. All but the writing scores are based on answers to multiple choice questions. The four multiple choice areas are scored on a range from 1 to 36, while the writing is scored on a range from 2 to 12. In each case, higher scores reflect greater achievement. The ACT does not use a traditional grading system which deducts a predetermined number of points for each incorrect answer.

The test follows a grade scaffolding, which converts the number of correct answers to a test score. There is a specific conversion applied to each section of the exam. For instance, a score of 36 may require a perfect 75-of-75 on the English exam, but either 59 or 60 correctly answered questions on the math exam. The conversion chart changes from exam to exam based on the exam's difficulty.

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