Several colleges consult ACT and SAT test scores as part of the college admissions process. There are four sections on the ACT exam, including reading, mathematics, science, and english (with an optional writing section). The ACT scores range from 1 to 36, with a 36 being the highest score one can get. The average act score for all test takers is just under 21.

If you are contemplating whether or not you should take the ACT, consider that a good ACT score can give you a serious advantage. Combined with your GPA and other application requirements, a high score on the ACT can propel your college application to the top of the pile.


A score of 33 on the ACT means that you are in the top 1 percent (98th percentile) of test takers. This type of score makes you more of a competitive applicant in the college application process.

ACT test scores are not the only indicators of college readiness, but it’s important to shoot for the best possible score you can achieve on your required standardized tests so you can stand out to your college of choice.

MIT, SAT Scores and GPA

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is very selective. If you scored a 33 on your ACT, MIT will be looking at any other college entrance exam scores as well as your high school grade point average when considering your application.

This esteemed institution has an acceptance rate of just above 7 percent. The average GPA is 4.16. The higher your SAT or ACT score, the better your chances of gaining admittance to MIT.

The average SAT score for MIT applicants is 1528 on a scale of 1600. The ACT average score is 34. However, an ACT score of 30 or higher is more than acceptable for entry to MIT.

Comparing SAT and ACT Scores

Any student who scores well on college entrance exams should cover his bases and take them all. A score of 33 on the ACT is comparable to 1460 on the SAT.

An SAT score chart can let you know where you land when considering applying to top universities in the United States or around the globe. Check the listings for both of the standardized tests to check for schools that are academically similar.

Benefits of the ACT Test

Once you have completed the ACT, you can apply to a wide variety of colleges in your area of interest. A 33 ACT score opens up your list of schools to consider. The ACT gauges the subjects in which you excel as well as your critical thinking skills.

A score of above 33 on the ACT gives a student an edge over other applicants vying for college admissions.

For those seeking financial aid, a high ACT score can give a student access to lucrative scholarships in the subjects where she excels. A student’s application will rise to the top of the thick pile of college hopefuls with an ACT score that is well above average.

List of Colleges for ACT Score Over 30

Some of the top colleges in the country require a student to have an ACT score of 30 or higher in order to submit an application. If you have an ACT score of 33, these colleges want to hear from you:

  • Pomona College
  • Northwestern University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Amherst College
  • Williams College
  • Washington University St. Louis
  • Hamilton College
  • University of Virginia Main Campus
  • Georgia Institute of Technology

Note:‌ Once your ACT score gets to a 30 or above, you will be in ivy league college territory. Schools like Princeton University and Harvard pay attention to students with these high scores.

Why the ACT Is Important

The ACT offers a snapshot of your academic skills to admissions officers. A score of 30 or above gets the admissions office’s attention fairly quickly. Most of the colleges in the U.S. that offer bachelor’s degrees require an ACT or SAT score to be admitted to the school. The ACT or SAT score is used by colleges as part of their annual admissions statistics.

ACT Test Facts and Info

If you feel you didn’t test as well as you thought you could have on the first go around, you can retake the ACT. The ACT test is available for students to take seven times per year, from September through July. If you feel you can pump up your score by a few points, you can retake the test. Taking the test more than once won’t hurt your overall score. Taking ACT practice tests online will help you to ace this test.

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