It’s not easy to stand out in the competitive world of applications, and getting a great ACT score can make quite a big difference. With that in mind, you should know what actually qualifies as a good score and what number you might want to be aiming for in order to achieve your goals.
A composite ACT score of 22 is relatively decent and certainly qualifies as higher than the average. However, it only places around the 67th percentile in most years, and some schools will have many applicants with significantly higher scores.
Throughout this article, we’re going to talk about what a 22 might mean in the big picture, and how it could compare to other students that you will be up against when you send out your application.
Is 22 A High ACT Score?
When you take a practice test it can be tricky to get a good idea of how well you are performing, particularly because the score on its own does not necessarily tell you the entire picture. You aren’t going to see a helpful letter grade when you take the ACT or the SAT, so it’s not easy to know what the numbers mean.
The way that your score will ultimately be judged is against how well the other people who sit the test perform, and which percentile rank you fall under. These percentiles tell you the proportion of people who ranked below you, and therefore they also show you the percentage that managed to score even more highly.
Using the data for the 2022 – 2023 reporting year, a composite score of 22 on the ACT would rank in the 67th percentile. This means that around 33% (or about 1/3) of those that sit the test are expected to score this highly or better.
This data is taken from high school graduates of 2020, 2021, and 2022. Here is a table showing how the different scores stack up against the competition. It’s worth noting that there are many more students who achieve middling scores, so the percentiles change a lot more within this range than they do at the extremely high or low ends.
|ACT Composite||Percentile Rank|
|10 – 13||1 – 13|
|13 – 16||13 – 32|
|16 – 19||32 – 50|
|19 – 22||50 – 67|
|22 – 25||67 – 80|
|25 – 28||80 – 89|
|28 – 31||89 – 95|
|31 – 34||95 – 99|
What Would A 22 ACT Be On The SAT?
Depending on where you are applying might not end up taking the ACT, or it may not be the only test that you have in your sights. Another good way to understand what a 22 on the ACT means is to convert it to see what an SAT equivalent might be – which is the other major admissions test you may be considering.
Due to the way that the SAT is scored, there is a much greater range of possible scores that you can achieve. Therefore, a 22 on the ACT would likely convert to between 1100 and 1120 on the SAT.
According to the 2022 data, an SAT score of 1100 – 1120 would rank between the 67th and 70th percentile for general students, but only the 60th to 63rd percentile for people who actually sit the test.
This chart shows how different score ranges convert across the tests:
|Score on ACT||Score on SAT|
|11 – 15||560 – 850|
|15 – 19||810 – 1010|
|19 – 23||980 – 1150|
|23 – 28||1130 – 1340|
|28 – 32||1310 – 1480|
|32 – 36||1450 – 1600|
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Schools You Can Definitely Apply To With 22 ACT
Being above the average with a 22 on the ACT means that you will have options when it comes to applying to educational establishments. There are numerous schools for which a 22 would be considered very good, and it would not be a barrier to entry.
To give you an idea of the kind of places you could expect to easily apply to, here are just some institutions that take students with an ACT of 22 or just below on average:
- Washington State University
- Central Michigan University
- Texas State University
- California State University, Fullerton
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Portland State University
- San Jose State University
- Northern Arizona University
- East Carolina University
- Marshall University
Schools It Would Be Hard To Apply To With 22 ACT
It goes without saying, though, that there are lots of schools out there that are even more competitive, and the applicants with the highest scores will usually apply to the most prestigious schools. This means that a 22 may not be high enough for you to stand out when applying to these places.
So that you can understand which kinds of schools would be a little harder for you to successfully get into, here are a few that usually take students with an ACT that is between 23 and 25:
- Arizona State, Immersion Campus
- University of Arizona
- San Diego State University
- Howard University
- University of Oregon
- Washington State University
- University of Houston
- Ohio University, Main Campus
- Texas State University
- Georgia State University
How Can I Improve My ACT Score?
Depending on what it is that you want from your academic future, a score of 22 might well be enough for you, but some people may need to get a higher score if they want to make it into the school that they have been dreaming about.
Fortunately, you can start putting in the work today in order to get that score up, which could be all it takes to make your application shine. Start your preparation early, and take as many practice tests as you can. It’s also a good idea to actually take the ACT itself multiple times, as very few people will get their best score their first time around.
Additionally, don’t forget about the other elements of your application, as these will often be just as important (if not more so) as the tests you take. Work on your interview skills, make sure to put a lot of focused effort into your essays, and build up a great portfolio if your course asks for one.
Conclusion: Is 22 a Good ACT Score
So, is scoring a 22 on the ACT good? It’s far from a bad score, and many schools will look very favorably on your application with an ACT composite score like this. However, there are a number of institutions for which you may need to be a little more ambitious in order to be competitive.
If you want to perform better, make sure to start prepping early, practice often, and take the test as many times as you can to give yourself the best possible chance.