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Table 175. 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 2012
Score type and test-taker characteristic 1995 2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Total test takers                          
Number (in thousands) 945 1,065 1,116 1,175 1,171 1,186 1,206 1,301 1,422 1,480 1,569 1,623 1,666
Percent of graduates 37.5 37.6 38.4 39.0 38.4 38.2 38.6 40.6 42.9 44.2 45.7 47.7 49.1
  Average test score1 
Composite score, total 20.8 21.0 20.8 20.8 20.9 20.9 21.1 21.2 21.1 21.1 21.0 21.1 21.1
Sex                          
Male 21.0 21.2 20.9 21.0 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.2 21.2 21.3 21.2 21.2 21.2
Female 20.7 20.9 20.7 20.8 20.9 20.9 21.0 21.0 21.0 20.9 20.9 21.0 21.0
Race/ethnicity                          
White 22.7 21.7 21.7 21.8 21.9 22.0 22.1 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.4
Black 17.8 16.8 16.9 17.1 17.0 17.1 17.0 16.9 16.9 16.9 17.0 17.0
Hispanic 18.4 18.5 18.5 18.6 18.6 18.7 18.7 18.7 18.6 18.7 18.9
Asian/Pacific Islander 22.4 21.6 21.8 21.9 22.1 22.3 22.6 22.9 23.2 23.4
Asian 23.6 23.6
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 19.5 19.8
American Indian/Alaska Native 20.4 18.6 18.7 18.8 18.7 18.8 18.9 19.0 18.9 19.0 18.6 18.4
Two or more races 21.1 21.4
                           
Subject-area scores                          
English 20.2 20.5 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.4 20.6 20.7 20.6 20.6 20.5 20.6 20.5
Male 19.8 20.0 19.7 19.8 19.9 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.1 20.2 20.1 20.2 20.2
Female 20.6 20.9 20.6 20.7 20.8 20.8 21.0 21.0 21.0 20.9 20.8 20.9 20.9
                           
Mathematics 20.2 20.7 20.6 20.6 20.7 20.7 20.8 21.0 21.0 21.0 21.0 21.1 21.1
Male 20.9 21.4 21.2 21.2 21.3 21.3 21.5 21.6 21.6 21.6 21.6 21.6 21.7
Female 19.7 20.2 20.1 20.1 20.2 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.4 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.6
                           
Reading 21.3 21.4 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.4 21.4 21.3 21.3 21.3
Male 21.1 21.2 20.9 21.0 21.1 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.2 21.3 21.1 21.1 21.2
Female 21.4 21.5 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.5 21.6 21.6 21.5 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.4
                           
Science reasoning 21.0 21.0 20.8 20.8 20.9 20.9 20.9 21.0 20.8 20.9 20.9 20.9 20.9
Male 21.6 21.6 21.3 21.3 21.3 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.3 21.4 21.4 21.4 21.4
Female 20.5 20.6 20.4 20.4 20.5 20.5 20.5 20.5 20.4 20.4 20.5 20.5 20.5
  Standard deviation2 
Composite score, total 4.7 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.8 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.2 5.3
Sex                          
Male 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
Female 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.7
                           
Subject-area scores                          
English 5.5 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.5
Male 5.6 5.8 5.8 5.9 6.0
Female 5.5 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.9
                           
Mathematics 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.3 5.3 5.3
Male 5.2 5.3 4.8 5.3 5.3
Female 4.8 4.8 5.3 4.8 4.8
                           
Reading 6.1 6.1 6.1 6.0 6.0 6.1 6.1 6.2 6.2 6.2 6.2
Male 6.1 6.3 5.3 6.1 6.1
Female 6.0 6.1 4.8 5.9 6.0
                           
Science reasoning 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.1 5.1 5.2
Male 4.8 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9
Female 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 11 11 12 12 12 13 13
17 or below 25 27 27 26 26 25 25 26 27 28 28 28
                           
Planned major field of study                          
Business3 13 11 10 10 9 9 9 8 11 12 11 10 9
Education4 8 9 8 7 7 6 6 5 6 7 7 6 6
Engineering5 8 8 7 7 6 6 6 5 7 8 8 8 8
Health sciences and technologies 17 15 16 17 16 15 14 17 19 20 19 19
Social sciences6 9 9 8 8 7 7 6 5 6 7 7 8 9
—Not available.
1 Minimum score is 1 and maximum score is 36.
2 Standard deviations not available for racial/ethnic groups.
3 For years prior to 2011, includes business and management, business and office, and marketing and distribution.
4 For years prior to 2011, includes education and teacher education.
5 Includes engineering and engineering-related technologies.
6 Includes social sciences and philosophy, religion, and theology. For 2011 and 2012, also includes law.
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 2012. 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 2008–09; Private School Universe Survey (PSS), 1995 through 2007; and Projections of Education Statistics to 2020. (This table was prepared September 2012.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education