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The Latest News About Standardized Test Scores

The big news this week was the drop in ACT scores:

“This year, the average ACT score was the lowest it’s been since 1991, the organization said in a news release.

And it’s the fifth year in a row that average scores have been going down, ACT CEO Janet Godwin said in a statement.”

  • Approximately 1.3 million students in the U.S. high school graduating class of 2022 took the ACT test, an estimated 36 percent of graduates nationwide.

  • The national average Composite score for the graduating class of 2022 is 19.8, down from 20.3 for the graduating class of 2021, the lowest average score since 1991.

  • Thirty-five percent of the ACT-tested graduating class took the ACT more than once, as compared to 32% for the 2021 cohort.

  • Thirty-two percent of ACT-tested graduates in the class of 2022 met at least three out of four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks (English, reading, math, and science), while, 42% of students met none ACT College Readiness Benchmarks and 22% met all four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.

  • A record number of students in this cohort took the ACT as part of state and district school-day testing—16 states tested more than 75% of their students—providing students the opportunity to earn college-reportable ACT scores by taking the test in their own classrooms during regular school hours on a weekday and allowing states to receive a more clear understanding of how their school districts are performing.

What about the SAT?

The average SAT score also declined for this year’s class, to 1050, out of a maximum 1600. The average for the previous class was 1060. The SAT takes three hours and covers two sections, math and evidence-based reading and writing. Most questions are in a multiple-choice format.

Major changes are coming to the SAT as it is scheduled to move to a shorter, digital format, ditching the paper-and-pencil version at U.S. sites by spring 2024.

The discussion of why scores have dropped is broad…I’ll share some reasons from experts in next week’s blogpost.


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