Report Details Lowest ACT Scores in Over 30 Years

News: US News
by Church Militant  •  •  October 12, 2023   

Class of 2023 posts worst scores since 1991

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IOWA CITY, Iowa ( - United States high school seniors in the class of 2023 earned the lowest ACT scores in 32 years. 

ACT 2023

On Tuesday, the nonprofit American College Testing organization announced that scores on the test fell for the sixth straight year, down to an average score of 19.5 out of 36 for 2023 graduates. 

The data revealed, "Between 2022 and 2023, average English scores declined 0.4 points (from 19.0 to 18.6), average mathematics scores declined 0.3 points (from 19.3 to 19.0), average reading scores declined 0.3 points (from 20.4 to 20.1), and average science scores declined 0.3 points (from 19.9 to 19.6)."

Overall, the average score for high school seniors dropped from 19.8 in 2022 to 19.5 in 2023. About 1.4 million students in the class of 2023 reportedly took the exam.

"The percentage of students meeting all four benchmarks dropped 1.3 percentage points, from 22.1% of students in 2022 to 20.8% of students in 2023, whereas the percentage of students meeting no benchmarks increased by 1.7 percentage points, from 41.6% in 2022 to 43.3% in 2023," detailed the ACT organization.

College enrollment has seen a decline in the past few years, and many colleges have lowered standards for enrollment.

In an article about the data, the non-profit revealed, "More than four in 10 seniors meet none of the college readiness benchmarks; 70% of seniors fall short of college readiness benchmark for mathematics."

ACT CEO Janet Godwin

After noting that scores have declined for six consecutive years, ACT CEO Janet Godwin remarked, "We are also continuing to see a rise in the number of seniors leaving high school without meeting any of the college readiness benchmarks, even as student GPAs continue to rise and students report that they feel prepared to be successful in college."

"The hard truth is that we are not doing enough to ensure that graduates are truly ready for postsecondary success in college and career. These systemic problems require sustained action and support at the policy level," she continued. "This is not up to teachers and principals alone — it is a shared national priority and imperative."

Students in the class of 2023 were freshmen when the COVID pandemic began. This comes as overall college enrollment has seen a decline in the past few years, and many colleges have lowered standards for enrollment.

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