A perfect ACT score (36 out of 36) can increase your chances of getting accepted into highly competitive colleges and may also qualify you for various academic scholarships.
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A perfect ACT score (36 out of 36) can open doors for high school students in terms of college admissions and scholarship opportunities. According to the ACT, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the exam achieve a perfect score, making it a rare accomplishment. Here are some interesting facts about the value of a perfect ACT score:
- A perfect ACT score can increase your chances of getting accepted into highly competitive colleges such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT. These schools typically have an acceptance rate of less than 10%, and a high ACT score can make a student stand out among the thousands of applicants.
- A perfect ACT score can also qualify a student for various academic scholarships. For example, the University of Alabama offers a full-tuition scholarship for students who earn a 36 on the ACT, while the University of Missouri-Kansas City offers a similar scholarship worth $52,000.
- According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, students who score a 34 or above on the ACT earn higher salaries later in life compared to those who score lower on the test.
- The ACT is used by many states in the US as a graduation requirement. In some states, students who earn a perfect score on the ACT can be exempt from taking their state’s high school exit exam.
- In an article by CNBC, Thomas Jaworski, the founder of the tutoring company Quest Prep, states that a perfect ACT score can also be a bargaining chip when negotiating financial aid packages from colleges. He says, “if you have close to a 36, you can say, ‘I’m not sold on coming here unless you give me more money.'”
- A perfect ACT score can also be a source of pride and accomplishment for the student who achieves it. As former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “Being among the select few with a perfect ACT score is an amazing accomplishment, and these students should be incredibly proud of their achievement.”
|Value of a Perfect ACT Score|
|Increased chances of getting accepted into highly competitive colleges|
|Qualification for academic scholarships|
|Higher future salaries, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research|
|Exemption from some state high school exit exams|
|Potential bargaining chip for negotiating college financial aid|
|Source of pride and accomplishment|
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A perfect score on the ACT is a 36. The test itself is scored on a scale from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 36, compiled from four primary sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each individual section is scored in one-point increments, so it is possible to receive a 1, a 2, a 3, and so on, all the way up to a 36 in each subject.
The perfect composite score is 36. This score is an average of your four section scores for English, Math, Reading, and Science. While you don’t need a perfect score to get into top colleges, earning a full 36 ACT score can help you be a competitive applicant. Scoring 36 is uncommon and will take a lot of preparation.
A perfect score on the ACT is 36. Most students assume that because 36 is the highest possible ACT score (both composite and individual), it’s a “good” ACT score.
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Steven Kaia, a 17-year-old from Long Island, NY, shares his tips on achieving a perfect score on the ACT. He advises students to remain calm, focus on areas they have difficulty with when studying, eat a healthy breakfast, move on if they spend more than 30 seconds on a question and remember that the test can be retaken if necessary.
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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.
Unsurprisingly, a full 36 is the rarest score of all—just 0.313% of all test takers earned a perfect ACT score. Roughly three times more students earned the next-highest score of 35; however, this is still a very rare score that just 0.925% of test takers earned.