Is the ACT Curved?

IS THE ACT CURVED?

YES. To account for slight differences in difficulty among SATs, the College Board uses a system known as equating….

NO. This means that how well other test takers do on the ACT will not affect your ACT score…

YES. To account for slight differences in difficulty among SATs, the College Board uses a system known as equating. This process ensures that SAT scores are consistent across tests and will always indicate the same level of ability no matter when you take the SAT. So a 650 Math score on one SAT will always correspond to a 650 Math score on another SAT — even if one test contains easier Math questions.

Through this equating process, or “SAT curves,” the College Board can account for slight variations in difficulty among SATs to give test takers on different test dates the same opportunity to achieve their goal scores.

NO. This means that how well other test takers do on the ACT will not affect your ACT score. Even if everyone who took the ACT on a particular test date were to receive low scores, none of these scores would be raised or redistributed to establish a more balanced ACT bell curve.

So how does ACT, Inc., calculate these scale scores? For each section, you’ll begin with a raw score, which is equivalent to the number of questions you answered correctly. (Note that there are no penalties for incorrect or blank answers.) So if you answered 60 out of 75 questions correctly on the English section, your raw English score would be 60. Afterward, each raw score is then converted into a scale score out of 36.

 

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