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Digest of Education Statistics
2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 145. 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 2008
Score type and test-taker characteristic Number Standard deviation1 
1995 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
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 †  †  †  †  †  †  †  †  †  †  † 
Percentage of graduates 37.5 36.8 36.9 37.6 37.6 38.4 39.0 38.4 38.2 37.8 40.1 43.1 †  †  †  †  †  †  †  †  †  †  † 
  Average test score2 
Composite, 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 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.8 5.0 5.0
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 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
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 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.7
                                               
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
Black 17.9 17.9 17.8 16.9 16.8 16.9 17.1 17.0 17.1 17.0 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
Asian American or Pacific Islander 22.6 22.3 22.4 21.7 21.6 21.8 21.9 22.1 22.3 22.6 22.9
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
                                               
Subject area                                              
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 5.4 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1
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 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.6 5.8 5.8 5.9 6.0
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 5.4 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.9
                                               
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 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.2
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 5.3 5.2 5.2 5.2 5.3 4.8 5.3 5.3
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 4.8 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.8 5.3 4.8 4.8
                                               
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 6.0 6.0 6.1 6.0 6.1 6.1 6.0 6.0 6.1 6.1
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 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.1 6.3 5.3 6.1 6.1
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 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.0 6.1 4.8 5.9 6.0
                                               
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 4.6 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.9 4.9
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 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9
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 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3
  Percent
Obtaining composite scores of—                                              
28 or above 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 12
17 or below 25 25 25 25 27 27 26 26 25 25 26
                                               
Planned major field of study                                              
Business3  13 12 12 11 11 10 10 9 9 9 8 11
Engineering4  8 8 8 8 7 7 7 6 6 6 5 7
Social science5  9 9 9 9 9 8 8 7 7 6 5 6
Education6  8 9 9 9 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 6
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
1 Standard deviations not available for 1995.
2 Minimum score is 1 and maximum score is 36.
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: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: ACT, High School Profile Report, selected years, 1995 through 2008. (This table was prepared August 2008.)

2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest