You know that your ACT and GPA scores both matter. But does one figure reign supreme? 

Contrary to the claims of many college admissions officers, one score does seem to matter more than the other. While your GPA plays an important role, most schools will place greater importance on your ACT score.

Now that you know let’s dive into a few of the particulars. Keep reading to learn more about the ACT score and why it matters.

If you’d like professional assistance studying for the ACT or work on your GPA, work with a certified tutor from Jantzi Test Prep. Schedule a tutoring session today!

What Is the ACT, and What Does it Measure?

ACT stands for American College Testing. Put simply, it is a standardized test used as an entrance exam for the majority of U.S. colleges and universities. While your GPA compares your academic standing to the rest of your high school, the ACT compares your academic standing to the rest of the nation. 

It’s important to understand that grade point averages are not standardized. So your GPA is relevant only in relation to the other students at your school. It tells a college nothing about how you compare to a student from another school, city, or state. 

ACT scores, on the other hand, are standardized. In fact, the test is standardized by a third party — making your score a fair comparison to the scores of other students who take the ACT. 

How Is the ACT Graded?

The ACT covers four broad sections. They are: English, Science, Math, and Reading. For each section, students receive a score between 1 and 36. The final composite score is an average of these four separate scores.

Universities value high ACT scores for a few reasons. 

First, a high composite score reflects that the student has a good educational foundation and commanding intellect. Second, ACT scores matter because schools appear to be more selective by boosting the average score of the incoming class. (More selective schools attract better applicants and get more funding.)

How Does GPA Fit into the Process?

Of course, your grade point average still matters. In fact, it’s a huge part of your application. A good GPA tells a school that you are hard-working, self-disciplined, and dependable. So don’t lose focus on your classwork just because you’ve scored well on the ACT.

The best-case scenario is that your application boasts a high ACT score and a high GPA. That way, admissions officers have no other choice than to accept. 

How Can I Prepare for the ACT?

Now that you know how important a good score is, you should have all of the motivation you need to prepare. But where to start?

Getting ready for an upcoming test doesn’t need to be complicated, but it will require time. Try scheduling an hour a day for test prep alone. During this time, you can study and take practice exams. 

If you discover you need more input, turn to Jantzi Test Prep. Our ACT tutors can help you boost your study habits, develop test-taking skills, and score well on the test. Schedule a session with a certified tutor today