Breaking Down the Numbers: A Closer Look at a 36 on the ACT

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Breaking Down the Numbers: A Closer Look at a 36 on the ACT

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on achieving a perfect score of 36 on the ACT! In this article, we will break down the key components of the ACT exam, share valuable tips and strategies for success, and provide insights into what it takes to achieve a top score. Whether you are a high school student aiming for perfection or a parent looking to support your child in their academic journey, this guide is here to help you understand the nuances of scoring a 36 on the ACT.

What is the ACT?

The ACT is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. It assesses students’ academic readiness for college by testing their knowledge in English, math, reading, and science. The ACT also includes an optional writing section, known as the ACT Writing Test. With a total testing time of 3 hours and 35 minutes (including the Writing Test), the ACT plays a crucial role in the college application process for many students.

Understanding a Score of 36

Scoring a perfect 36 on the ACT is a remarkable achievement that places you in the top percentile of test takers. Achieving this score requires a deep understanding of the test format, rigorous preparation, and effective test-taking strategies. Each section of the ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, and the composite score is the average of the four section scores. To earn a 36, you must excel in all areas of the exam and demonstrate mastery of the content.

Tips for Acing the ACT

1. Know the Test Format

Familiarize yourself with the format of the ACT, including the types of questions, time limits, and scoring criteria. By understanding the structure of the exam, you can better prepare and anticipate what to expect on test day.

2. Practice Regularly

Consistent practice is key to success on the ACT. Take practice tests, work on sample questions, and review your answers to identify areas for improvement. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with the test format and content.

3. Focus on Your Weaknesses

Identify your weaknesses in each section of the ACT and devote extra time to improving in those areas. Whether it’s grammar rules in the English section or trigonometry concepts in the math section, targeted practice can help you boost your score.

4. Manage Your Time Effectively

Time management is crucial on the ACT, as you have a limited amount of time to complete each section. Practice pacing yourself during practice tests to ensure that you can answer all questions within the allotted time.

5. Seek Additional Support

Consider seeking support from a tutor, teacher, or online resources to help you prepare for the ACT. Professional guidance can provide valuable insights, tips, and strategies to improve your performance on the exam.


Q: Is it possible to retake the ACT to improve my score?

A: Yes, you can retake the ACT multiple times to try and achieve a higher score. Colleges typically consider your highest composite score when reviewing your application.

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Q: Do colleges only look at the composite score of the ACT?

A: While the composite score is important, colleges also consider the individual section scores, as they provide insight into your strengths and weaknesses in specific subject areas.

Q: How long does it take to receive ACT scores?

A: ACT scores are typically available online within two weeks of taking the exam. You can also choose to receive a paper score report by mail.

Q: Do colleges prefer the ACT or the SAT?

A: Most colleges accept both the ACT and SAT for admissions purposes. It is recommended that you research the specific requirements of the colleges you are interested in applying to.

Q: What is a good ACT score?

A: The average ACT score is around 20-21, so anything above that can be considered a good score. However, competitive colleges often look for scores in the 30+ range.


Achieving a perfect score of 36 on the ACT is a challenging but attainable goal with the right preparation and dedication. By understanding the test format, practicing regularly, focusing on your weaknesses, managing your time effectively, and seeking additional support, you can increase your chances of success on the ACT. Remember that every point counts on the exam, so aim high, stay focused, and give it your best effort. Good luck on your ACT journey!