College Admissions Test Scores Fall To Lowest Levels In 30 Years

By Bill Galluccio

October 13, 2022

Test with broken Pencil
Photo: Getty Images

For the fifth straight year, the average ACT college admissions test scores have declined. In 2022, the average composite score was 19.8 out of 36, down from 20.3 in 2021. It is the first time since 1991 that the score has fallen below 20 points.

ACT Research, which administers the college admissions exam, said that 1.3 million students from the high school graduating class of 2022 took the test, representing 36% of all high school graduates in the country.

The organization noted that 22% of students met all four College Readiness Benchmarks in English, reading, math, and science. However, 42% did not meet a single benchmark, a 4% increase from 2021.

Nevada ranked lowest in the nation with a composite score of 17.3, while Washington D.C. boasted a score of 26.9, the highest score in the country.

“This is the fifth consecutive year of declines in average scores, a worrisome trend that began long before the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and has persisted,” ACT CEO Janet Godwin said in a statement. “The magnitude of the declines this year is particularly alarming, as we see rapidly growing numbers of seniors leaving high school without meeting the college-readiness benchmark in any of the subjects we measure.”

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