The Latest ACT Test Scores and Comparing ACT and SAT Scores

What is the average ACT score?

For 2009 high-school graduates, the average ACT score was 21.1, which is identical to last year’s number. The ACT, which measures English, math, science and reading, uses a scale of 1 to 36.

The average ACT score remained the same even though a record 1.48 million students — 4% more than last year — took the test. You can visit the ACT’s website to learn more about the national ACT scores, as well as how students performed on the ACT in individual states.

So what about average SAT scores? As far as I can tell, the College Board hasn’t released 2009 figures so I’m providing the average SAT scores from last year:

Average (Mean) SAT Scores

  • Critical reading: 502
  • Mathematics: 515
  • Writing: 494

The top SAT score you can earn in each of those categories is 800.

Since the SAT and ACT are scored so differently, students, who take the ACT and SAT, often don’t know which scores are better.  My daughter faced the same dilemma when she was in high school. No worries though. I  wrote a previous post that will help you compare ACT and SAT test scores.

Also, on my college blog, I also provide a ACT/SAT conversion table entitled, Which Test Scores to Send: SAT or ACT.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of  The College Solution, an bestseller.

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