The ACT’s pretty tough and it can be stressful to prepare for, so you want to be sure that you’re heading along the right path. If you’ve taken a few practice tests or you’re trying to figure out what your goal is then you want to know, is 30 a good ACT score?
30 out of a possible 36 composite score for the ACT is a relatively high, and would be considered a good score. In 2022, a 30 composite placed within the 93rd percentile so, on average, less than 10% of all test takers manage to achieve a score this high.
Throughout this article, we’re going to show you what a 30 on the ACT looks like, how it compares, and what sort of options it might give you when you’re applying to schools.
Is 30 One Of The Highest ACT Scores?
The total composite score that you can get on the ACT is 36. Each of the 5 categories is individually scored out of 36 and a final score is then determined based on a combination of all of these. While 30 out of 36 is less than 85%, mathematically, it is actually a very high score that is harder to achieve than it might seem at first glance.
To understand what this score means, we can look at the percentile group that it places you in, based on other users who take the test. The percentile of your score tells you what percentage of total test takers achieved lower than the same score, which tells you the kind of level that you are competing at.
For example, a score that puts you in the 90th percentile would tell you that only 10% of people managed to get the same score or greater. We’ve taken the 2022-2023 ACT data to create this handy table, showing you the percentile range for ACT scores from that year’s tests.
|Percentile Range||Composite ACT Score Range|
|96 to 100||32 – 36|
|89 – 96||28 – 32|
|76 – 89||24 – 28|
|56 – 76||20 – 24|
|32 – 56||16 – 20|
|7 – 32||12 – 16|
It’s important to remember that this data is specific to the year in which the test was taken, but it is still a very good indicator of where you will land compared to the national averages.
In the 2022 ACT, scoring a composite of 30 out of 36 would place you within the 93rd percentile, which would mean that only 7% of test takers had this score or higher in that year.
What Would a 30 ACT Score Be On The SAT?
There is, obviously, another major admissions test that you might want to consider as well, but it is scored very differently. The SAT is marked out of a possible 1600, so it can be quite hard to tell how an ACT score would compare to what you might achieve when taking the SAT.
You can make a general conversion between scores for both tests which gives you a good idea of what sort of SAT score you might get with a 30 on the ACT, but it is not precise – and the test itself will obviously be very different at the end of the day.
|ACT Composite Score||SAT Equivalent Score|
|32 – 36||1450 – 1600|
|28 – 32||1310 – 1450|
|24 – 28||1160 – 1310|
|22 – 26||1100 – 1240|
|20 – 22||1020 – 1100|
|16 – 20||860 – 1020|
To be more precise, an ACT score of 30 is considered to be somewhere within the 1390 and 1410 range on the SAT. If you took the test in 2022, this would place you in the 92nd percentile of all the ACT takers from that year.
Which Schools Could You Get Into With a Score of 30?
An ACT composite score of 30 is definitely going to make you stand out from the crowd when you’re applying to schools, so you will have some pretty great options to choose from. With that being said, there may still be some candidates that come in with even higher scores, and there are many other aspects of the application process, so it is never a guarantee.
A few of the most popular schools that you would expect to be able to apply to with an ACT composite score of 30 include:
- Texas A ; M University – College Station
- The University of Texas at Austin
- University of Central Florida
- Purdue University – Main Campus
- University of Washington – Seattle Campus
- Syracuse University
- University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign
- Florida State University
- Baylor University
- Auburn University
These schools all have an intake with an average ACT composite score of 30 or just below, so your score would put you in good standing compared to the other people you would be applying with.
Which Schools Would Be Hard to Get Into With a Score of 30?
There aren’t many schools that would turn you down with a 30 on the ACT, but it won’t always be a breeze. Some schools receive many applicants with a 30 or higher, which might be a little trickier to successfully apply to, including:
- University of California – Los Angeles
- University of California – Berkeley
- University of Florida
- Boston University
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Ohio State University – Main Campus
- University of Georgia
- Georgia Institute of Technology – Main Campus
- University of Miami
- University of Maryland – College Park
These schools have an intake with an average ACT score of between 31 and 33, which means that you would be on the lower end of the scale compared to other applicants, so it may be a bit more difficult to secure a place.
What Is A Good ACT Score To Aim For?
Perhaps the most important question that you should be asking yourself isn’t whether or not 30 on the ACT if a good score in general, but whether or not it is a good score for you.
Depending on the schools that you want to apply to, the kind of further education you are interested in, and your specific academic goals, then a “good” score for you can vary significantly from what other people are aiming for.
If you are hoping to get into the Ivy League, for example, then you may need to score even higher to stand out. The highest 25% of applicants to these schools tend to achieve at least a 35, and it is usually recommended that you have a 33 or greater if you want to be successful.
On the other hand, many schools are not as strict with their admissions test expectations, and you may want to focus more on your extracurricular activities, your essay, and your wider experience before you apply.
Summary: Is 30 a Good ACT Score?
So, is 30 a good ACT score? Without a doubt. It is a score that will typically place you within the top 10% in the country, and in very good standing when you are applying to schools.
With that being said, it is not the highest possible score out there, and some applicants will definitely be applying with even greater scores than this, so you may need to work harder to improve your score or put extra effort into other aspects of your application if you want to get into one of the best schools in the country.