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While general discussion about the ACT test is allowed by ACT, discussion of test questions may violate your agreement with ACT. Please be thoughtful in your posts and replies.

Act is not curved!!!

BronxSciBronxSci Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
edited October 2009 in ACT Preparation
I see much posting here about a "curve" on the ACT. No curve exists. Notice that the scoring basically stays same for each and every test for many years--- -1=X, -2=Y, -3=Z etc. It's always basically the same. Much much more, look at what the ACT says right on their own website: "Scores are processed and added each week, usually each Wednesday and Friday." Obvious, a test date is not "curved" if some are graded and then scored and then mailed, and others have not even been scored yet!!! No such thing as a curve for each batch they score from same test date. Curve for one test date could only happen if they score ALL tests for one date in one batch and then decided if a curve is going to be made. But ACT is not doing that. They score some, release the score, and then score more tests from the same date. They say that on ACT website so there can't be a curve for a test date. They score tests in batches and obvious they cant issue a curve for one batch that is different then another batch of same test. Reason for that is that whether they score one test or many test from same date, scoring scale is same. There is no "curve" for one month's test. ACT is standardized. The "curve" if you are calling it that, is based on years of ACT test, not one test. So if you get an easy test, you get very lucky. If you get a hard test, you get very unlucky because scoring scale is basically the same. That simple. All this talk of curve on ACT is wrong. FYI - SAT is not like ACT - they score all tests at same time and do curve each test. Good luck.
Post edited by BronxSci on

Replies to: Act is not curved!!!

  • BronxSciBronxSci Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    THIS IS FROM A PRIOR POST ON CC AND GIVES NICE DESCRIPTION OF "CURVE" ISSUE

    03-25-2007, 11:54 AM #2
    drusba
    Senior Member

    Join Date: Aug 2004
    Location: Chicago
    Posts: 3,246


    An ACT curve is a misconception. ACT has numerous exams that were developed over years and exams now are likely to be the same as ones given in the past with minor changes at most. When you go in to take an exam, the score you will get based on number answered correctly is pre-determined and does not depend on what the particular testing group for that exam does as a whole (based on long experience with the exam, they know going in that absent genetic re-engineering of high school students as a whole, the range of scores they are going to get will be somewhat close to what they got before on that exam). How many correct are needed to get a certain score in a subsection may vary somewhat from exam to exam (and thus knowing what happened on the last exam that was just given does not really help because the next exam given will be a different one having its own historically created pre-determined scores); for example, there are some exams where getting one wrong in science automatically drops you to a 34 rather than a 35 in that section. Also, all questions have the same weight, i.e., getting a hard question correct carries no more points than getting an easy question correct. A rule of thumb once given by the ACT is that getting 90% correct in any given section will likely put you in the 30 to 31 score range for that section. Since the science and reading sections have only 40 questions each, you only need to miss 4 on each to fall to that 90% correct range. English has 75 and math has 60 questions and thus you can miss more questions and still be in that 90% range.
  • mabsjenbu123mabsjenbu123 Registered User Posts: 2,770 Senior Member
    Yes but when we on CC reference the "curve" we are talking about how many wrong = 35, how many wrong = 34

    If u dont want to call it a curve, so be it but we do because it makes it easier to reference the difficulty of the test
This discussion has been closed.