Today I received my ACT test results in the mail.

My scores were as follows:

English subscore: 34, 99th percentile in the US.

Mathematics subscore: 27, 88th percentile in the US

Reading subscore:  29, 88th percentile in the US

Science subscore: 25, 84th percentile in the US

Composite Score: 29, 94th percentile in the US.

94th percentile overall in the United States. 94th percentile.  As a percentile, this means that out of 100 test takers, I scored “as well or better than” 94 of them. For a better idea of how well I scored, let’s assume every citizen of the united states took the test and affects the calculation of my percentile.

There are 307,006,550 people in the United States according to the July 2009 census.

If every person was taken into account, I scored “as well or better than” 288,586,157 people.

That leaves 18,420,393 people that scored better than me.

Surely not every one of those matters, so here’s an estimation of high school data:

In 2000, 26% of the population was 18 or younger.

If it’s distributed evenly (which it probably isn’t, I know), that means roughly 1/6 of those would be taking the ACT.

So, 4 and 1/3rd percent of the population is 13,303,617 people.

Out of that, I scored “as well or better than” 12,505,340 people. That still leaves 798,277 people who scored better than me overall.

Sure, I’m in the 94th percentile overall. Unfortunately colleges look at GPA more than they do ACT scores, and ACT scores count for little else than college admissions. So does it really mean anything?


~ by ZAdoubleQ on May 19, 2011.

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