ACT Scores Are the Lowest They Have Been In 30 Years


Kylie McKinney, Reporter

The ACT is an exam given to high schoolers which tests their abilities in the 4 main subjects of English, math, reading, and science, in order to measure academic readiness prior to college. This data allows colleges to determine acceptance into their community, as well as provide an estimated level of academic intelligence.

Throughout the past 30 years, ACT scores have consistently fluctuated throughout the Unites States, leaving researchers interested in the reasoning behind these diverse scores. Since 2018, ACT scores have been continuously decreasing, and COVID-19 only increased these declining rates. This year, exam-takers averaged 19.8 points out of 36 on the ACT, which is the first time scores averaged out less than 20, since 1991.

With a combination of the pandemic, unemployment, and overall feeling of isolation and withdrawal to society, ACT scores dropped to the lowest they have been in three decades.

Due to the pandemic, unemployment increased immensely, causing teenagers to have to pick up both part-time and full-time positions to help support themselves and their families. With their busy schedules, many teenagers lost the motivation and focus for studious behavior.

In contrast to this, ACT scores have not only been low due to the pandemic, but from inflation as well. Granted, the pandemic caused financial issues, inflation has done the same, increasing the percentage of students who struggle to reach minimum standards on the ACT. These global issues have consistently increased the number of low-income families throughout the past years, and it is only getting worse.

The test scores of 2022’s graduating class showed that 42 percent of students met none of the benchmark requirements on the test, and in 2021, 38 percent met none as well, which has indicated that many students are not academically ready for college level studies.

As of now, there is really no plan in place to improve this issue. The only hopeful solution is for students to attempt to partake in challenging prep courses and study sessions, to make up for the time lost in the classroom.

The large amount of data taken from the past few years, pre and post pandemic, clearly show that students who didn’t have in person, challenging learning, or proper financial stability, obtained vigorous obstacles and low scores when it came to test taking. This issue can hopefully be resolved with the support of the community as well as individual growth.



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