High school students in the United States have achieved the lowest ACT test scores in over 30 years.
The average ACT composite score for U.S. students dropped to 19.5 out of 36, down from 19.8 the previous year. Scores in reading, science, and math fell below the ACT’s benchmarks for success in first-year college courses. This is the sixth straight year that scores have declined. The general decline worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. Experts fear that the scores highlight a lack of college preparedness.
These test results come at a time when some colleges and universities have made standardized tests optional due to concerns about socioeconomic disparities. They also come as states like Florida consider alternative exams to the ACT and its main competitor, the SAT. However, around 1.4 million more students took the ACT this year than last.