You’ve heard this before: how you do on the ACT will have a big impact on your college experience. So you know that the exam is important, but what exactly ARE the benefits of having a high ACT score? From access to top programs to increased scholarship money, there is a lot riding on a good ACT score.

What is the ACT?

At its most basic, the ACT is a standardized test. It’s not too different from the standardized tests you likely have been taking all through school, except that where those tests tend to evaluate your whole school’s performance, the ACT is all about you individually. The ACT is designed to help colleges and universities to predict how well you may do if they allow you to study there. 

While the ACT score is only one part of the material that schools use to decide whether to admit you, a good ACT score can really boost your chances, and an average ACT score can definitely move you down the admissions list. 

According to the ACT’s website, the test “contains multiple-choice tests in four areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science.” There is also a writing exam that is optional. The goal, on the ACT, is to get the highest score possible in each of those areas. Your score is calculated as a composite score, with a perfect exam earning a score of 36. 

Benefits of a High ACT Score

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to work towards that perfect ACT score.

  • Better chance of acceptance

Many of the most competitive colleges and universities, the MOST sought after programs, strongly take ACT scores into account when making admissions decisions. In a 2019 survey for the National Association of College Admission Counseling, nearly 90% of admissions professionals surveyed reported that admissions tests like the ACT play a considerable or moderate role in admissions decisions. Remember, the ACT is designed to help schools predict your future success, and they’d prefer to take students who will thrive!

  • Increased scholarship money

Not only does a good ACT score help get you in the door at your first-choice school, but many schools offer merit scholarships based primarily on your ACT scores. The higher the score, the lower your tuition bill may be. lists dozens of high-value scholarships based on ACT scores alone. As just one example, the University of Illinois-Chicago offers a scholarship worth $40,000 for those with ACT scores above 31. There are even schools that offer financial packages that cover your FULL tuition. These scholarships for high ACT scores are well worth investigating at every school on your application list!

  • Access to honors programs

Many colleges offer special programs for high-performing students. These honors programs (sometimes called things like “University Scholars” or “Honors College”) are high-value academic programs, with increased access to top faculty, targeted programming, and additional exciting academic resources. Graduates who complete these programs will generally carry distinctions and honors that can, in turn, greatly assist with placement into graduate programs or help foster career opportunities. What you may not know is that much of the time, admission to these programs is limited to those with the highest ACT scores. 

In addition to these benefits, a high ACT score can win you bragging rights, and keep you from having to take some entry-level college classes (saving you time and money). It only makes sense, then, to do everything you can to score as highly as you can on the ACT.

How do I get a high ACT score?

Like many other areas in life, the secret to a high ACT score is hard work. Much of the learning that you will need to achieve above-average ACT scores has come as a result of your high school classes. They have helped you to learn math, science, reading, and writing, and generally speaking, that will get you much of the way there. But to really get the highest ACT scores, those top-notch scores that will produce the most benefit, it can be very helpful to pursue an ACT prep course. 

The Kyo Standard ACT Prep Course is the perfect way to optimize your ACT experience for the highest benefit. Our tutors customize your experience to make sure that you get the most help in the areas in which help is the most needed. 

Visit to learn more, and to get started today!