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Table 147. ACT score averages and standard deviations, by sex and race/ethnicity, and percentage of ACT test takers, by selected composite score ranges and planned fields of study: Selected years, 1995 through 2009
Score type and test-taker characteristic 1995 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Total test takers                          
Number (in thousands) 945 995 1,019 1,065 1,070 1,116 1,175 1,171 1,186 1,206 1,301 1,422 1,480
Percent of graduates 37.5 36.8 36.9 37.6 37.6 38.4 39.0 38.4 38.2 38.6 39.9 42.5 44.5
Average test score1 
Composite score, total 20.8 21.0 21.0 21.0 21.0 20.8 20.8 20.9 20.9 21.1 21.2 21.1 21.1
Sex                          
Male 21.0 21.2 21.1 21.2 21.1 20.9 21.0 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.2 21.2 21.3
Female 20.7 20.9 20.9 20.9 20.9 20.7 20.8 20.9 20.9 21.0 21.0 21.0 20.9
Race/ethnicity                          
White 22.7 22.7 22.7 21.8 21.7 21.7 21.8 21.9 22.0 22.1 22.1 22.2
Black 17.9 17.9 17.8 16.9 16.8 16.9 17.1 17.0 17.1 17.0 16.9 16.9
Mexican American 19.6 19.6 19.5 18.5 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.4
Other Hispanic 20.7 20.7 20.5 19.4 18.8 19.0 18.8 18.9
Hispanic 18.4 18.5 18.5 18.6 18.6 18.7 18.7 18.7
Asian American/Pacific Islander 22.6 22.3 22.4 21.7 21.6 21.8 21.9 22.1 22.3 22.6 22.9 23.2
American Indian/Alaska Native 20.4 20.4 20.4 18.8 18.6 18.7 18.8 18.7 18.8 18.9 19.0 18.9
                         
Subject-area scores                          
English 20.2 20.4 20.5 20.5 20.5 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.4 20.6 20.7 20.6 20.6
Male 19.8 19.9 20.0 20.0 20.0 19.7 19.8 19.9 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.1 20.2
Female 20.6 20.8 20.9 20.9 20.8 20.6 20.7 20.8 20.8 21.0 21.0 21.0 20.9
                         
Mathematics 20.2 20.8 20.7 20.7 20.7 20.6 20.6 20.7 20.7 20.8 21.0 21.0 21.0
Male 20.9 21.5 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.2 21.2 21.3 21.3 21.5 21.6 21.6 21.6
Female 19.7 20.2 20.2 20.2 20.2 20.1 20.1 20.2 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.4 20.4
                         
Reading 21.3 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.3 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.4 21.4
Male 21.1 21.1 21.1 21.2 21.1 20.9 21.0 21.1 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.2 21.3
Female 21.4 21.6 21.6 21.5 21.5 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.5 21.6 21.6 21.5 21.4
                         
Science reasoning 21.0 21.1 21.0 21.0 21.0 20.8 20.8 20.9 20.9 20.9 21.0 20.8 20.9
Male 21.6 21.8 21.5 21.6 21.6 21.3 21.3 21.3 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.3 21.4
Female 20.5 20.6 20.6 20.6 20.6 20.4 20.4 20.5 20.5 20.5 20.5 20.4 20.4
Standard deviation2 
Composite score, total 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.8 5.0 5.0 5.1
Sex                          
Male 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
Female 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.7
                         
Subject-area scores                          
English 5.4 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3
Male 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.6 5.8 5.8 5.9 6.0
Female 5.4 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.9
                         
Mathematics 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3
Male 5.3 5.2 5.2 5.2 5.3 4.8 5.3 5.3
Female 4.8 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.8 5.3 4.8 4.8
                         
Reading 6.0 6.0 6.1 6.0 6.1 6.1 6.0 6.0 6.1 6.1 6.2
Male 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.1 6.3 5.3 6.1 6.1
Female 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.0 6.1 4.8 5.9 6.0
                         
Science reasoning 4.6 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.9 4.9 5.0
Male 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9
Female 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3
Percent of ACT test takers
Obtaining composite scores of--                          
28 or above 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 12 12
17 or below 25 25 25 25 27 27 26 26 25 25 26 27
                         
Planned major field of study                          
Business3  13 12 12 11 11 10 10 9 9 9 8 11 12
Engineering4 8 8 8 8 7 7 7 6 6 6 5 7 8
Social science5  9 9 9 9 9 8 8 7 7 6 5 6 7
Education6 8 9 9 9 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 6 7
—Not available.
1 Minimum score is 1 and maximum score is 36.
2 Standard deviations not available for racial/ethnic groups.
3 Includes business and management, business and office, and marketing and distribution.
4 Includes engineering and engineering-related technologies.
5 Includes social science and philosophy, religion, and theology.
6 Includes education and teacher education.
NOTE: Data are for high school graduates who took the ACT during their sophomore, junior, or senior year. If a student took a test more than once, the most recent score was used. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: ACT, High School Profile Report, selected years, 1995 through 2009. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education," 1995-96 through 2006-07; Private School Universe Survey (PSS), 1995 through 2005; and Projections of Education Statistics to 2017. (This table was prepared August 2009.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education