Is 23 a good ACT score, or is it bad? Do I need to get more to enroll in a University? How can I get more to register for my dream college?

If you have questions like these and more, we understand your worries. Every college has different ACT score expectations, and understanding them all can create confusion. But don’t worry! This article will clear all your doubts about ACT scores and give you the clarity you need. All you have to do is read till the end, and you’ll be able to figure out your admission chances with a 23 ACT score.

How Does A University Score ACT?

Before answering your question, let’s begin with how ACT is scored. Universities score the ACT on a 1-36 scale. 1 ACT is considered as the lowest and the 36 as highest.

ACT syllabus comprises 4 MCQ sections (Maths, Reading, English, and Science). A specific scoring is allotted to each section. You need to attend all four tests and achieve as much higher a score as possible. The authorities combine the scores of all the subjects to determine an average ACT score.

An added benefit of the ACT examination is that it does not deduct marks for wrong answers. So, after completing the easy ones, you can answer the remaining questions without worrying about the scores. This way, even if guesswork gets correct, you will get a higher mark.

Is 23 ACT A Good Score?

As discussed before, 1 is the lowest, and 36 is the highest ACT score. This makes 23, an above-average score. So as per your question on whether 23 is a good ACT score or not, well, it is excellent. But, some top colleges are very selective with ACT marks. So, you might not get admission into those colleges at this rate. Therefore, you have to improve your scores to enroll in those reputed colleges.

Good Scores by Section

So, now you know whether 23 is a good ACT score or not. Besides, you also know what score can be a good score. So then, let’s look at sectional scores to clear your concept even further.

If you wish to apply to moderately competitive colleges, try to get a 90th percentile or higher. By 90th percentile, we mean try to get the following ACT scores in the subjects mentioned below.

  • English: 20.1
  • Maths: 20.4
  • Reading: 21.2
  • Science: 20.6

You can get into moderately competitive colleges since you already have a 23 ACT score. But as advised before also, try to get more to get into the best colleges worldwide. Many students get above 23 ACT scores. So, if you can score more, you can show your capability to the University authorities. You can show them that you are more eligible for admission than many other aspirants. 

Find Your ACT Goal Score

We have told you enough about improving your score, aiming for more, and getting more. But what do we mean by more? Which ACT score are we telling you to seek?

Well, we’re not telling you to get a specific score. Rather we cannot do that for you. You have to do this for yourself. For instance: If you want to get into XYZ school, it might need a 23 ACT score. And for ABC school, it might require 28 ACT. So, if you have a 23 ACT score and wish to get into ABC, you cannot. But if you have 28 ACT, you can get into XYZ. So, to summarize, we want you to improve your score to get more options for selection.

There are various ways you can understand the ACT goal score. Read our ways to get guided through it. 

Shortlist Which Schools You Want To Register Into

This is the first important step to understanding your ACT goal score. You need to shortlist the colleges you are interested in taking admission to. Suppose, if you shortlist 10 colleges, see which college has the higher ACT score need. If the highest is 30 ACT, try to achieve this score in the next ACT examination. This way, all the 10 options will be open to you for enrolling.

Improve Your ACT Score

Once you decide to improve your ACT score, follow our steps to do it with perfection.

  • Get Familiar With ACT

Before you set any target; you need to get familiar with ACT. By that, we mean you need to know about the ACT scoring format, important questions, question pattern, difficulty level, etc. The best way to know about this is by practicing more and more questions. The more you solve practice tests, the better you will get familiar with ACT.

  • Sit For The Examination Again

If you are thinking, yes, this is very common. Many students reappear for the examination to achieve a higher goal. When you sit for the first time and get results in hand, try to see your strengths and weaknesses. See which subjects are difficult for you and start studying them earlier. You can keep the easy ones for the last as they’ll be easy to learn. This way, you will better prepare for the second time and get higher scores.

  • Superscore Your ACT Score

You can superscore your ACT marks to get a new composite score. Now you must be thinking about what “superscore” is. Superscore is a way by which you can determine the highest score and then send that score to the University to consider you for admission.

For example, suppose you sat for the ACT exam once and got 23 ACT. You decided to sit for it again, and you got 25 ACT this time. For the third trial, you got 28 ACT. You can send the third test score (as it is the highest) to the University and discard the rest. Although 25 on the ACT and 23 on the ACT is good, it is less than 28. 

So, to improve your chances of admission, send the 28 ACT score. This is called superscoring. You pick the best score and only send that score to determine your admission chances in this method.

ACT Scores and College Admissions

The significant section of the admission computation is based on ACT scores, GPA, or class rank. Many colleges will utilize these numbers as an initial filter before continuing to other student application areas. A high ACT score can often compensate for a low-class rank or GPA. Therefore, try to achieve the best ACT score possible. 

Although schools consider different aspects of a student’s application, a poor GPA will always seem better than a great ACT score. With that, if you are thinking about whether a 23 on the ACT is good, yes, it is strong enough to compensate for a low GPA score. But even then, you’ll need to get a good GPA and ACT score if you want to apply to top-tier universities. Requirements are so high at the most selective universities that very few candidates are guaranteed admission, irrespective of their ACT or GPA.

ACT Score Statistics On Popular Institutions

College Name Average ACT Score
Arizona State University 26
Cal Tech 36
Colorado State University 26
Florida International University 26
Florida State University 28
Harvard University 34
Indiana University 28
Kansas State University 24
Louisiana State University 26
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 35
Michigan State University 26
NYU 32
Northern Arizona University 22
Oklahoma State University 25
Princeton University 34
Rice University 34
Rutgers 28
San Diego State University 26
SMU (Southern Methodist University) 31
Stanford University 34
Texas A&M 29
Texas Tech University 25
The Ohio State University 30
University of Alabama 27
University of Arizona 25
University of Arkansas 27
University of California at Berkeley 31
University of Calfornia at Irvine 29
University of Central Florida 27
University of Chicago 34
University of Florida 30
University of Georgia 30
University of Illinois 29
University of Illinois at Chicago 24
University of Kansas 26
University of Maryland 31
University of Michigan 33
University of Minnesota 28
University of Missouri 26
University of Oklahoma 26
University of South Florida 27
University of Southern California 32
University of Texas at Austin 30
University of Washington 30
University of Wisconsin 30
Vanderbilt University 34
Virginia Tech 28
Yale University 34


Hopefully, we have answered all your queries related to ACT scores and have also been successful in explaining whether 23 is a good ACT score or not. If you still have questions about the ACT score, you can contact the above colleges and resolve them all. Besides, you can follow our tips above to determine your ACT goal score and start working on it from today so as not to lose an opportunity of enrolling in a reputed institute.