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Digest of Education Statistics
1999 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest

Table 138  American College Testing (ACT) score\1\ averages, by sex: 1970 to 1998

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        Type of test         |1970 |1975 |1980 |1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |1989 | 1990  | 1991  | 1992  | 1993  | 1994  | 1995  | 1996  | 1997  | 1998
_____________________________|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______
              1              |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  | 10  | 11  |  12   |  13   |  14   |  15   |  16   |  17   |  18   |  19   |  20
_____________________________|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______
Participants:\2\             |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
  Total (in thousands) ......| 714 | 822 | 836 | 835 | 849 | 739 | 730 | 777 | 842 | 855 |   817 |   796 |   832 |   876 |   892 |   945 |   924 |   959 |   995
                             |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______
                             |                                          Test scores\3\
                             |_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______
  Composite, total ..........|18.6 |18.5 |18.5 |18.3 |18.5 |18.6 |18.8 |18.7 |18.8 |18.6 |  20.6 |  20.6 |  20.6 |  20.7 |  20.8 |  20.8 |  20.9 |  21.0 |  21.0
    Male ....................|19.5 |19.3 |19.3 |19.1 |19.3 |19.4 |19.6 |19.5 |19.6 |19.3 |  21.0 |  20.9 |  20.9 |  21.0 |  20.9 |  21.0 |  21.0 |  21.1 |  21.2
    Female ..................|17.8 |17.9 |17.8 |17.6 |17.9 |17.9 |18.1 |18.1 |18.1 |18.0 |  20.3 |  20.4 |  20.5 |  20.5 |  20.7 |  20.7 |  20.8 |  20.8 |  20.9
                             |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
English, total ..............|17.7 |17.9 |17.8 |17.8 |18.1 |18.1 |18.5 |18.4 |18.5 |18.4 |  20.5 |  20.3 |  20.2 |  20.3 |  20.3 |  20.2 |  20.3 |  20.3 |  20.4
  Male ......................|17.1 |17.3 |17.3 |17.3 |17.5 |17.6 |17.9 |17.9 |18.0 |17.8 |  20.1 |  19.8 |  19.8 |  19.8 |  19.8 |  19.8 |  19.8 |  19.9 |  19.9
  Female ....................|18.3 |18.3 |18.2 |18.2 |18.6 |18.6 |18.9 |18.9 |19.0 |18.9 |  20.9 |  20.7 |  20.6 |  20.6 |  20.7 |  20.6 |  20.7 |  20.7 |  20.8
                             |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
Math, total .................|17.6 |17.4 |17.3 |16.9 |17.3 |17.2 |17.3 |17.2 |17.2 |17.1 |  19.9 |  20.0 |  20.0 |  20.1 |  20.2 |  20.2 |  20.2 |  20.6 |  20.8
  Male ......................|19.3 |18.9 |18.9 |18.4 |18.6 |18.6 |18.8 |18.6 |18.4 |18.3 |  20.7 |  20.6 |  20.7 |  20.8 |  20.8 |  20.9 |  20.9 |  21.3 |  21.5
  Female ....................|16.2 |16.2 |16.0 |15.7 |16.1 |16.0 |16.0 |16.1 |16.1 |16.1 |  19.3 |  19.4 |  19.5 |  19.6 |  19.6 |  19.7 |  19.7 |  20.1 |  20.2
                             |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
Social studies, total\4\ ....|17.4 |17.2 |17.2 |17.1 |17.3 |17.4 |17.6 |17.5 |17.4 |17.2 |   --- |  21.2 |  21.1 |  21.2 |  21.2 |  21.3 |  21.3 |  21.3 |  21.4
  Male ......................|18.7 |18.2 |18.3 |18.0 |18.1 |18.3 |18.6 |18.4 |18.4 |18.1 |   --- |  21.3 |  21.1 |  21.2 |  21.1 |  21.1 |  21.0 |  21.2 |  21.1
  Female ....................|16.4 |16.4 |16.4 |16.4 |16.5 |16.6 |16.9 |16.7 |16.6 |16.4 |   --- |  21.1 |  21.1 |  21.2 |  21.4 |  21.4 |  21.6 |  21.5 |  21.6
                             |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
Natural science, total\5\ ...|21.1 |21.1 |21.0 |20.9 |21.0 |21.2 |21.4 |21.4 |21.4 |21.2 |   --- |  20.7 |  20.7 |  20.8 |  20.9 |  21.0 |  21.1 |  21.1 |  21.1
  Male ......................|22.4 |22.4 |22.3 |22.4 |22.4 |22.6 |22.7 |22.8 |22.8 |22.6 |   --- |  21.3 |  21.4 |  21.5 |  21.6 |  21.6 |  21.7 |  21.7 |  21.8
  Female ....................|20.0 |20.0 |20.0 |19.6 |19.9 |20.0 |20.2 |20.1 |20.2 |20.0 |   --- |  20.1 |  20.1 |  20.3 |  20.4 |  20.5 |  20.5 |  20.6 |  20.6
                             |_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______
                             |                              Percent
                             |___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Obtaining composite          |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
  scores of--                |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
27 or above \6\..............| --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- |    12 |    12 |    11 |    12 |    12 |    12 |    13 |    10 |    10
18 or below \7\..............| --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- |    35 |    35 |    35 |    35 |    35 |    35 |    34 |    26 |    25
                             |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
Planned major field of study |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
  Business\8\ ...............|  18 |  14 |  20 |  18 |  19 |  21 |  22 |  23 |  23 |  22 |    20 |    18 |    16 |    14 |    13 |    13 |    12 |    12 |    12
  Engineering\9\ ............|   8 |   6 |   8 |  10 |   9 |   9 |   9 |   9 |   9 |   9 |     9 |    10 |    10 |     9 |     9 |     8 |     8 |     8 |     8
  Social science\10\ ........|  10 |   7 |   6 |   6 |   7 |   7 |   8 |   9 |  10 |  11 |    10 |    10 |    10 |     9 |     9 |     9 |     9 |     9 |     9
  Education\11\ .............|  16 |  11 |   9 |   6 |   6 |   6 |   7 |   8 |   8 |   8 |     8 |     8 |     8 |     8 |     8 |     8 |     9 |     9 |     9
_____________________________|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______

\1\Test scores for 1990 and later data are not comparable with previous years because a new version of the ACT was introduced. Estimated average composite scores for the new version for prior years were: 1989, 20.6; 1988, 1987, and 1986, 20.8; and 1982, 20.3.
\2\Beginning in 1985, data are for seniors who graduated in year shown and had taken the ACT in their junior or senior years.
\3\Minimum score, 1; maximum score, 36.
\4\Beginning in 1990, the test was changed to "reading."
\5\Beginning in 1990, the test was changed to "science reasoning."
\6\Beginning in 1997, data are for scores of 28 or higher.
\7\Beginning in 1997, data are for scores of 17 or lower.
\8\Includes political and persuasive (e.g., sales) fields for 1970. From 1975 through 1990, includes business and commerce. Thereafter, includes business and management, business and office, and marketing and distribution.
\9\Beginning in 1990, includes engineering and engineering related technologies.
\10\Includes social science and philosophy, religion, and theology except from 1975 through 1989.
\11\Includes education and teacher education.
---Data not available.

SOURCE: The American College Testing program, High School Profile Report, annual. (This table was prepared August 1999.)


1999 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest