The ACT’s pretty tough and it can be stressful to prepare for, so you want to be sure that you’re heading along the right path. If you’ve taken a few practice tests or you’re trying to figure out what your goal is then you want to know, is 30 a good ACT score?
30 out of a possible 36 composite score for the ACT is a relatively high, and would be considered a good score. In 2022, a 30 composite placed within the 93rd percentile so, on average, less than 10% of all test takers manage to achieve a score this high.
Throughout this article, we’re going to show you what a 30 on the ACT looks like, how it compares, and what sort of options it might give you when you’re applying to schools.
Is 30 One Of The Highest ACT Scores?
The total composite score that you can get on the ACT is 36. Each of the 5 categories is individually scored out of 36 and a final score is then determined based on a combination of all of these. While 30 out of 36 is less than 85%, mathematically, it is actually a very high score that is harder to achieve than it might seem at first glance.
To understand what this score means, we can look at the percentile group that it places you in, based on other users who take the test. The percentile of your score tells you what percentage of total test takers achieved lower than the same score, which tells you the kind of level that you are competing at.
For example, a score that puts you in the 90th percentile would tell you that only 10% of people managed to get the same score or greater. We’ve taken the 2022-2023 ACT data to create this handy table, showing you the percentile range for ACT scores from that year’s tests.
|Percentile Range||Composite ACT Score Range|
|96 to 100||32 – 36|
|89 – 96||28 – 32|
|76 – 89||24 – 28|
|56 – 76||20 – 24|
|32 – 56||16 – 20|
|7 – 32||12 – 16|
It’s important to remember that this data is specific to the year in which the test was taken, but it is still a very good indicator of where you will land compared to the national averages.
In the 2022 ACT, scoring a composite of 30 out of 36 would place you within the 93rd percentile, which would mean that only 7% of test takers had this score or higher in that year.
- Is 29 a Good ACT Score?
- Is 28 a Good ACT Score?
- Top 10 ACT Tips and Tricks For The Best Scores
What Would a 30 ACT Score Be On The SAT?
There is, obviously, another major admissions test that you might want to consider as well, but it is scored very differently. The SAT is marked out of a possible 1600, so it can be quite hard to tell how an ACT score would compare to what you might achieve when taking the SAT.
You can make a general conversion between scores for both tests which gives you a good idea of what sort of SAT score you might get with a 30 on the ACT, but it is not precise – and the test itself will obviously be very different at the end of the day.
|ACT Composite Score||SAT Equivalent Score|
|32 – 36||1450 – 1600|
|28 – 32||1310 – 1450|
|24 – 28||1160 – 1310|
|22 – 26||1100 – 1240|
|20 – 22||1020 – 1100|
|16 – 20||860 – 1020|
To be more precise, an ACT score of 30 is considered to be somewhere within the 1390 and 1410 range on the SAT. If you took the test in 2022, this would place you in the 92nd percentile of all the ACT takers from that year.
Which Schools Could You Get Into With a Score of 30?
An ACT composite score of 30 is definitely going to make you stand out from the crowd when you’re applying to schools, so you will have some pretty great options to choose from. With that being said, there may still be some candidates that come in with even higher scores, and there are many other aspects of the application process, so it is never a guarantee.
A few of the most popular schools that you would expect to be able to apply to with an ACT composite score of 30 include:
- Texas A ; M University – College Station
- The University of Texas at Austin
- University of Central Florida
- Purdue University – Main Campus
- University of Washington – Seattle Campus
- Syracuse University
- University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign
- Florida State University
- Baylor University
- Auburn University
These schools all have an intake with an average ACT composite score of 30 or just below, so your score would put you in good standing compared to the other people you would be applying with.
Which Schools Would Be Hard to Get Into With a Score of 30?
There aren’t many schools that would turn you down with a 30 on the ACT, but it won’t always be a breeze. Some schools receive many applicants with a 30 or higher, which might be a little trickier to successfully apply to, including:
- University of California – Los Angeles
- University of California – Berkeley
- University of Florida
- Boston University
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Ohio State University – Main Campus
- University of Georgia
- Georgia Institute of Technology – Main Campus
- University of Miami
- University of Maryland – College Park
These schools have an intake with an average ACT score of between 31 and 33, which means that you would be on the lower end of the scale compared to other applicants, so it may be a bit more difficult to secure a place.
What Is A Good ACT Score To Aim For?
Perhaps the most important question that you should be asking yourself isn’t whether or not 30 on the ACT if a good score in general, but whether or not it is a good score for you.
Depending on the schools that you want to apply to, the kind of further education you are interested in, and your specific academic goals, then a “good” score for you can vary significantly from what other people are aiming for.
If you are hoping to get into the Ivy League, for example, then you may need to score even higher to stand out. The highest 25% of applicants to these schools tend to achieve at least a 35, and it is usually recommended that you have a 33 or greater if you want to be successful.
On the other hand, many schools are not as strict with their admissions test expectations, and you may want to focus more on your extracurricular activities, your essay, and your wider experience before you apply.
Summary: Is 30 a Good ACT Score?
So, is 30 a good ACT score? Without a doubt. It is a score that will typically place you within the top 10% in the country, and in very good standing when you are applying to schools.
With that being said, it is not the highest possible score out there, and some applicants will definitely be applying with even greater scores than this, so you may need to work harder to improve your score or put extra effort into other aspects of your application if you want to get into one of the best schools in the country.
E-Learning Specialist in Online Programs & Courses
A 30 ACT score will earn you merit aid both from your potential future institution and from third-party scholarship providers. On top of applying for merit aid, you should also apply for plenty of scholarships based on your location, life circumstances, extracurriculars, passions, future major, and more!Is a 30 on the ACT good enough for Ivy League? ›
Admission to any of the eight Ivy League schools is highly selective, and ACT scores are an important piece of the admissions equation. Generally applicants will need a composite score of 30 or higher to be competitive although some applicants are admitted with lower scores.How common is a 30 on the ACT? ›
Students will be awarded $1,000 more if they score anywhere between 30-36 + a certain GPA. If you've taken the ACT 3x and can't get past a 28 or 29, don't worry about it. You'll still get a great scholarship.Can I get a full ride scholarship with a 30 ACT score? ›
Unsurprisingly, the highest potential comes with ACT scores 30+. With ACT scores in the 30-36 range, it's possible to win $10,000 or more in scholarship prizes.What ACT is needed for a full ride? ›
Shoot for at least a 28 on the ACT or above 1300 on the SAT. Some scholarships allow for flexibility, so check the particular scholarship, but these numbers generally give you the most options. Encourage your student to also pursue a high GPA or even 4.0, especially their senior year.What is the lowest ACT score for Harvard? ›
Harvard College is extremely selective with an acceptance rate of 4%. Students that get into Harvard College have an ACT score of 34–36. Regular applications are due January 1.
There's no absolute ACT requirement at Harvard, but they really want to see at least a 33 to have a chance at being considered.What scholarships can I get with a 30 ACT? ›
|ACT Score Range||Scholarship Examples by ACT Score|
|21 to 25||Jackie Robinson Scholarship|
|26 to 30||Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) Scholarship|
|31 to 36||Craig and Galen Brown Foundation Scholarship. Also many universities use this range to award full ride scholarships|
Is 30 a good ACT score? According to percentiles, an ACT score of 30 is quite high. Data collected by ACT, Inc., shows that a 30 corresponds to the 94th percentile. In other words, very few test takers—only 6 percent—score 30 or higher on the ACT, making it a great score to aim for on test day.
Schools vary considerably in the kinds of ACT scores they look for in applicants. Less selective institutions tend to accept scores closer to the national average (21), whereas more competitive universities often prefer scores in the 32-36 range.Should you retake ACT with a 31? ›
Should I Retake the ACT with a 31 Score? With a 31 ACT score, there's really no need to retake the ACT unless your ideal school wants a higher score. Otherwise, you're well set up to go to an excellent college with merit aid.Do colleges care how many times you take the ACT? ›
You can take the ACT up to 12 times, and many students end up taking the test between 2-3 times before applying to college. Most colleges are neutral about multiple scores. Many students, in fact, make score improvements by retaking the ACT.Is ACT more important than GPA? ›
When it comes to the GPA and the ACT, students often wonder which one is more important. Although college admissions officers often say that they give much more weight to a student's GPA, even they will admit that your ACT score is of considerable importance.Do colleges see all ACT attempts? ›
This means that, when you are sending scores to colleges, you have to choose which administration results you will send to them—and schools will not be able to see what you got on any other ACTs, or even if you took the ACT more than once.Can you get into Duke with a 30 ACT? ›
Students that get into Duke University have an SAT score between 1510–1560 or an ACT score of 34–35.What is a good ACT score for Ivy League? ›
What ACT score is recommended for Ivy League colleges? Since Ivy League schools are among the “best of the best,” they frequently demand the highest ACT scores. The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that most Ivy League schools' typical ACT score ranges are between 32 and 35.Can I get a full ride with a 33 ACT score? ›
A 33 ACT score qualifies you for merit aid from both your potential future college or university, as well as from third-party scholarship providers. Be sure to apply for all types of scholarships, though, including ones for life circumstances, passions, extracurriculars, location, and more.Do colleges give scholarships based on ACT scores? ›
ACT test scores are a big factor in merit scholarships and awards, meaning awards based on academic achievement. On average, students who take the test more than once increase their score and can take advantage of superscoring - the average of your best scores from each subject from multiple test attempts.Do colleges look at ACT scores? ›
If the colleges you're applying to require standardized test scores, however, the two main test scores they'll look at are your SAT and your ACT scores.
However, these test scores are the deciding factor in becoming a presidential scholar. Candidates should aim for a nearly perfect score of 1600 on the SAT or a 36 on the ACT. If you are not satisfied with your current highest score, you can always retake the SAT/ACT to aim even higher.What is the lowest ACT score for Ivy League? ›
Generally speaking, you need a minimum ACT score of 31 to get into an Ivy League School. The minimum score is 32 at a few of these schools, including Harvard and Yale. The minimum SAT score to get into an Ivy League school ranges from 690 to 730 for the reading section and from 700 to 730 for the math section.Does Harvard prefer SAT or ACT? ›
No matter what you might've heard, Ivy League schools have no preference between the ACT and SAT. You can submit scores from either test or from both of them without worrying that your application will be dinged.What is the lowest GPA let into Harvard? ›
You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.What is the lowest ACT score to get into Yale? ›
Yale University is extremely selective with an acceptance rate of 6%. Students that get into Yale University have an SAT score between 1470–1560 or an ACT score of 33–35. Regular applications are due January 2.What ACT score do you need to get into Stanford? ›
Stanford University is extremely selective with an acceptance rate of 4%. Students that get into Stanford University have an SAT score between 1500–1570 or an ACT score of 33–35.
Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, unsurprisingly, are America's toughest colleges to get into in 2023, according to Niche's most recent rankings.What is the highest ACT score ever recorded? ›
What is the Highest ACT Score Possible? The highest ACT score possible is 36 with the national average score being 12. Typically, a good ACT composite test score is considered to be anything over 27.How can I improve my ACT score? ›
One of the most commonly asked questions of ACT is “how do my students improve their scores?” The simple answer is have them take challenging courses and test prep. Because the ACT tests what students learn in high school, the best way for them to prepare is to take core classes, study, and participate in class.How many questions can you miss on the ACT to get a 30? ›
English: 34 (miss no more than around 7 questions) Math: 28 (miss no more than around 16 questions) Reading: 34 (miss no more than around 3 questions) Science: 30 (miss no more than around 7 questions)
Relatively speaking, the ACT has gotten “harder” over the years. As students start to do better on ACT, the test-makers gradually adjust the difficulty level of the test. And students have gotten better. In 1970, the average composite score nationwide was 18.6.Has anyone ever gotten a 1 on the ACT? ›
The absolute minimum ACT score you can get is a 1, although this is very unlikely to happen. You might be more worried about getting a score high enough to get into college.What is the lowest score colleges will accept on ACT? ›
Many students who are applying to the most selective colleges and universities aim for a 34 or higher on the ACT, and may retake the test if they get below a 32. However there are many, many other excellent schools that are not as competitive and accept students with lower ACT scores.Do colleges look more at ACT or SAT scores? ›
Both ACT and SAT scores are used for college admissions decisions and awarding merit-based scholarships. Most colleges do not prefer one test over the other.What is the average ACT score? ›
The score a student receives corresponds to a percentile that compares how you did to the rest of the test-takers' population. Most scores are a little below or a little above the average score. The average ACT score is 20.6.What is a failing grade on the ACT? ›
There's no “passing score” on the ACT; a good ACT score is one that helps strengthen your application and increases your chances of getting into the school of your choice.Are ACT scores good forever? ›
The good news is, the ACT doesn't have an official expiration date on their scores. It is worth noting that after five years, the ACT company recommends you re-take the test. Chances are high that you have grown and changed since you initially took the ACT.What happens if I retake the ACT and get a lower score? ›
Getting a lower score on a retake won't affect college admission. Luckily, some schools do not require you to send all of your scores if you don't want to. Your chances of getting into you dream school aren't ruined just because of a score decrease.How long does the average person study for the ACT? ›
It is recommended to study for at least 10 hours so you are prepared. It is also better to keep your studying within one to six months before the test: Less than one month, the material doesn't have time to sink in. More than six months, and you are likely to forget some of the earlier information.Which month is the easiest ACT test? ›
Origin of the Myth
But here's the thing: While there were studies done that showed higher scores in one month than another, those months changed year to year. First experts would cry “December is easiest! Take it in December!” and a few years later they'd swear “May is by far easier!”
When those skills and constructs become more complicated and difficult over time, the ACT reflects that. Those changes tend to occur very gradually, however, not usually within a two to three year span.Do colleges only see your best ACT score? ›
ACT Reporting on the Common App
Colleges only see your highest composite score from any test date and your highest English, Math, Reading, and Science scores from any test dates.
The study determined that both a student's ACT score and their high school GPA (HSGPA) effectively predicted long-term success during college. Overall, they found that ACT scores were a more accurate predictor, and that ACT benchmarks also provided compelling evidence.Do colleges look at your best ACT score? ›
Colleges that superscore the ACT will look at your highest individual test scores and calculate a new, composite score across all your test dates. Your ACT Superscore is the average of your highest Math, Science, Reading and English test scores.Does it hurt to take ACT multiple times? ›
It doesn't hurt to take the ACT multiple times. In fact, planning on taking it more than once is a good idea! However, if you have retaken it more than three times and find you are getting the same result, it may be time to consider if taking it another time will actually be useful.Do ACT scores show up on transcript? ›
Your high school transcript will typically include:
The grades that you obtained in each class. Your graduation date and year. Your GPA. SAT, ACT, PSAT scores or the scores of any other proficiency test that you may have taken.
The combined highest Composite score (superscoring) is the score obtained for a student who has tested more than once, by using the highest English, highest mathematics, highest reading, and highest science scores to form an average—regardless of the administrations from which each score was obtained.Can I get a full ride with a 31 ACT? ›
A 31 ACT score will earn you plenty of merit-based scholarship and aid.Can you get a full ride scholarship with a 31 ACT score? ›
It is more common for students with high ACT scores to receive scholarships that cover most of the cost of college or even all of it. For example, if you have a 3.5 GPA and a 31-35 ACT score, you could qualify for merit aid from your school.How much can you realistically raise your ACT score? ›
If the number of tutoring hours is increased and the process is extended across several months, then a student may expect 4-6 points of ACT improvement and 120-180 points of SAT improvement. While they do happen, improvements of more than 7 points on the ACT or 200 points on the SAT are relatively rare.
The minimum requirements to receive a scholarship are a rank in the top 50% of your class, a GPA of 3.5 or over, and an SAT score of 1100 or an ACT score of 22.Can I get into an Ivy League with a 31 ACT? ›
Generally speaking, you need a minimum ACT score of 31 to get into an Ivy League School. The minimum score is 32 at a few of these schools, including Harvard and Yale. The minimum SAT score to get into an Ivy League school ranges from 690 to 730 for the reading section and from 700 to 730 for the math section.What ACT score is needed for Harvard? ›
Harvard College is extremely selective with an acceptance rate of 4%. Students that get into Harvard College have an ACT score of 34–36. Regular applications are due January 1.
Here, you can see that a student with 27 ACT score gets zero merit money. A 31 gets the student $10,000 per year or $40,000 over four years.How common is a 31 ACT score? ›
Only 5 percent of students who took the ACT in the last few years scored higher than a 31. Many highly-selective colleges look for ACT scores ranging from 27-31. Top colleges and universities look for ACTs in the 32-36 range.Can I get a full ride with a 32 ACT? ›
A 32 ACT score makes you eligible for merit aid from your future college or university, as well as from third-party scholarship providers. On top of applying for merit aid, make sure to apply for scholarships based on your location, passions, life circumstances, future major, and more.What ACT score is needed for UCLA? ›
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is very selective with an acceptance rate of 23%. Students that get into University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have an SAT score between 1350–1510 or an ACT score of 28–33.