by Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St

Roughly 1.3 million graduating high school students in 2022 – 36% of the total – sat down for the ACT exam. The ACT (formerly the American College Testing Program) assesses college readiness in English, math, science, and reading. Many colleges base admittance on a student’s ACT test results.

In recent years, an alarming trend has emerged, as ACT scores have steadily declined. According to ACT, Inc., the national average composite score decreased from 20.3 in 2021 to 19.8 in 2022 – the lowest average since 1991.

In a blog on the ACT website, CEO Janet Godwin noted that only 22% of the students who took the test met all four ACT benchmarks, or the levels at which the organization deems students stand a greater chance of success in higher education. Meanwhile, 42% did not achieve any of the benchmarks.

While ACT scores have declined nationwide in recent years, there is considerable variation in average ACT scores from state to state. In Montana, the average composite ACT score in 2022 was 19.3 out of a possible 36, the 16th lowest among states.

Of the four test components that go into the overall composite score, students in Montana scored best in the reading section, with an average score of 20.1. Meanwhile, the test category with the lowest average score in the state was English, at 18.0 points out of 36.

All data in this story is from Scholaroo, a global scholarship database.


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