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ACT scores

Question:
What are the average scores for students taking the ACT?

Response:

The ACT (formerly known as the American College Testing Program) is not designed as an indicator of student achievement, but rather as an aid for predicting how well students will do in college.

In 1995, some 38 percent of all high school graduates took the ACT.1 In 2016, some 59 percent of high school graduates were projected to take the ACT. The minimum score on the ACT is 1 and maximum score is 36.

Number and percentage of graduates taking the ACT test, and average scores by sex and race/ethnicity: Selected years,1995 through 2016
Score type and test-taker characteristic 1995 2000 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total test takers
Number (in thousands)1 945 1,065 1,186 1,301 1,422 1,480 1,569 1,623 1,666 1,799 1,846 1,924 2,090
Percent of all graduates1 38 38 38 41 43 44 46 47 48 52 53 2 55 2 59 2
  Average test score3 
Composite score, total 20.8 21.0 20.9 21.2 21.1 21.1 21.0 21.1 21.1 20.9 21.0 21.0 20.8
Sex                          
Male 21.0 21.2 21.1 21.2 21.2 21.3 21.2 21.2 21.2 20.9 21.1 21.1 20.9
Female 20.7 20.9 20.9 21.0 21.0 20.9 20.9 21.0 21.0 20.9 20.9 21.0 20.9
Race/ethnicity                          
White 21.8 21.9 22.1 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.4 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.2
Black 17.0 17.0 17.0 16.9 16.9 16.9 17.0 17.0 16.9 17.0 17.1 17.0
Hispanic 18.6 18.7 18.7 18.7 18.6 18.7 18.9 18.8 18.8 18.9 18.7
Asian/Pacific Islander 21.7 22.1 22.6 22.9 23.2 23.4
Asian 23.6 23.6 23.5 23.5 23.9 24.0
Pacific Islander 19.5 19.8 19.5 18.6 18.8 18.6
American Indian/Alaska Native 19.0 18.7 18.9 19.0 18.9 19.0 18.6 18.4 18.0 18.0 17.9 17.7
Two or more races 21.1 21.4 21.1 21.2 21.2 21.0

—Not available.
1 Those members of the graduating class who had taken the ACT test as a percentage of all students who graduated in that school year. For example, the 2016 column shows test-taking members of the class of 2016 as a percentage of all 201516 high school graduates. Percentages were calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) using NCES data on the total number of high school graduates.
2 Number of high school graduates is projected.
3 Minimum score is 1 and maximum score is 36.
NOTE: Data are for high school graduates who took the ACT test during their sophomore, junior, or senior year. If a student took the ACT test more than once, the composite and subject-area scores from the most recent test were used. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Digest of Education Statistics, 2016 (NCES 2017-094), Table 226.50.

Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)