how do colleges use ACT scores?

Posted : August 2, 2010
Last Updated : December 18, 2013

how do colleges use ACT scores?

ACT scores are one of the tools universities use when selecting students for admission. They also use score reports for other purposes, such as course placement and student guidance. Here are five examples of ways universities use score reports:

  1. Admissions. ACT test results — along with high school grades, academic preparation, and extracurricular activities — help college admission officers identify which students will thrive at their institution. Scores alone do not determine admission.
  2. Course placement. ACT scores, academic background, and high school grades are used together to determine which college sections would be most appropriate.
  3. Academic advising. College advisors look at ACT results, high school grades and classes, projected college grades, employment plans, and other factors to help students find the perfect fit for their course of study.
  4. Scholarships and loans. Some scholarships may use ACT scores and estimated grades to identify qualified candidates. ACT's unique score report also provides information about students' educational needs, extracurricular achievements, and educational plans. Joined with other data, agencies can evaluate applications for both scholarships and loans.
  5. ACT Writing Test. If students take this optional test, any college that receives their scores will also receive writing scores and comments along with subject area scores and a composite score. Colleges may review students' essays to help them make admissions or course placement decisions.

For more information about using your score results, visit

Source: ACT's News You Can Use

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