Boston University ACT Scores: Full Breakdown

Boston University ACT Scores: Full Breakdown

Boston University, known for its rigorous academic life and vibrant campus life, sets high expectations for their applicants. In this article, we will explore the Boston University ACT scores and requirements. Be sure to check out our other post that discusses Boston University’s SAT stats and requirements!

What is the average ACT score at Boston University?

In keeping with its reputation of academic excellence, Boston University’s average composite ACT score falls around a 33, out of the maximum possible 36 points. This is significantly higher than the national average of about 21.

In addition, the 25th percentile score reaches a strong 31, and the 75th percentile is a composite score of 34. This means that the lowest 25% of scorers achieved a 31 or below, and the highest 25% of scorers had a composite score of 34 or higher. These numbers demonstrate the high standards BU holds for its students. However, the range also shows that there is no one number that applicants must achieve for admission.

Boston University composite ACT score chart

What is the average ACT English score at Boston University?

The ACT composite score is the average of the scores a student achieves on each of the four test sections: English, mathematics, reading, and science. In this article, we will break down the Boston University ACT English and Math score statistics.

The average ACT English score at BU is an impressive 34. Meanwhile, the 25th and 75th percentiles fall at 32 and 35, respectively. These stats indicate that 25% of BU admits scored a 32 or below on their ACT English section. Further, the upper 25% of admitted students achieved a 35 or higher on their ACT English. Overall, BU students perform very well on the English section of the ACT, with the majority achieving high scores.

Boston University English ACT score chart

What is the average ACT Math score at Boston University?

The average ACT Math score at Boston University falls between the 25th and 75th percentiles of 28 and 34, respectively. In addition, an ACT Math score of 31 places you in the 50th percentile at BU. While these scores are a bit lower than the English section scores, they are still quite high when compared to the national averages.

However, as with the other sections, there is no one particular benchmark that applicants must meet. Now, let’s look at the BU’s specific ACT requirements.

Boston University math ACT score chart

What are BU’s ACT requirements?

Boston University will maintain a test-optional policy for students applying for admission through fall 2025 and spring 2026. That said, applicants are still welcome and encouraged to submit standardized test scores that they are proud of.

Boston University also accepts self-reported test scores. Of course, official test scores sent from the testing agency are also permitted. That said, bear in mind that these score reports can take some time to be processed and sent to the admissions committee. In addition, if you are accepted into BU and choose to enroll, you must send an official score report to verify your scores.

Note that BU does not require the writing section of the ACT.

What percent of BU applicants submit the ACT?

Among students admitted to BU, 12% submitted ACT scores. Another 23% submitted SAT scores, while the remaining approximate 65% presumably omitted standardized test scores from their application.

From these statistics, we can see that SAT remains a popular standardized test for admitted Boston University applicants, with more than twice as many students choosing to submit the SAT as the ACT. That said, the most popular choice was to go test-optional, so this is clearly a viable path to admission. Regardless, BU’s admissions officers do not enforce any preference for the SAT or the ACT.

Should I go test-optional?

Submitting standardized test scores is a personal decision based on the individual applicant’s strengths and other application materials. Because BU is currently test-optional and many admitted students did not submit test scores, you are not at a disadvantage if you choose to omit scores from your application.

However, a strong ACT score can only strengthen an application. For this reason, we encourage all students who are able to take the ACT, more than once if desired. If the test does not go well, you need not submit your scores. Therefore, it is in your best interest to take the ACT at least once if doing so is accessible to you.

Does Boston University superscore the ACT?

Boston University superscores both the SAT and ACT. In other words, for both the SAT and ACT, BU uses the highest score of each section, regardless of test date, so as to best represent you as an applicant. As a result, you may want to submit multiple test scores so that they can be superscored. This is unless your highest scores were all achieved on a singular test day, or you only took the ACT once.

More information about superscoring and other testing FAQs can be found on BU’s FAQ page.

What’s a good ACT score for Boston University?

Boston University does not have specific ACT score requirements or cutoffs. Instead, they evaluate applications within the applicant’s background and the context of their other application materials.

That being said, most admitted Boston University students have high standardized testing scores. Because the average Boston University ACT scores hover around a 33, shooting for a score at or above a composite 33 would put you in a good position. Meanwhile, the upper 25% of Boston University students scored a 34 or higher. Therefore, achieving a 34 or above on your SAT would definitely strengthen your BU application.

Section25th50th75th
Composite313334
English323435
Math283134

Can I get into Boston University with a low ACT score?

Getting into Boston University with a low ACT score is difficult, but possible. “Low” is a relative term, of course. Below-average scores for Boston University are still quite high compared to the national averages.

To be specific, the average SAT score is around 21. In contrast, the lower quartile SAT score at Boston University is a 31. This means that Boston University students in the lowest 25% scored up to 10 points higher than the national average. With this in mind, it would be in an applicant’s best interest to aim for the lower quartile, if not higher.

That said, it is possible to get into Boston University with an SAT score below a 31. Applicants who demonstrate strong academic and extracurricular performance can stand out in other ways. A student with a below-average score who demonstrates leadership and initiative through a community service project may be judged more favorably than an applicant with an above-average score who doesn’t demonstrate initiative outside of studying and testing.

Therefore, while scores are important, they are not the only thing an upcoming college applicant should devote their time to. Extracurricular passions and projects, as well as coursework and college essays, are just as important as the ACT, if not more so.

When should I take the ACT for Boston University?

The latest date by which SAT or ACT scores must be received for fall-term admission is January 4. For students who plan to submit applications during their senior year, it is advisable to take the ACT during the preceding junior spring semester.

What is BU’s ACT code?

BU’s ACT code for submitting official test scores is 1794.

While BU no longer requires applicants to submit ACT or SAT test scores, the standards for those who do choose to submit scores are still quite high. Choosing not to take the exams or to omit scores from an application will not harm an applicant, but sending a good score can only help. Ultimately, the decision of whether to take and submit exam scores is a personal decision to be evaluated in the context of an applicant’s strengths, goals, and priorities. If you are considering the SAT instead, be sure to check out our BU SAT Breakdown!

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