American College Testing scores drop to 30-year low

ACT (American College Testing) scores have dropped to a 30-year-low with the average score in 2022 being 19.8 out of 36.  

The ACT results, which were released on Wednesday, represented the first time ever where the average dipped below 20. The test results also revealed that 42% of ACT-tested graduates in the class of 2022 failed to meet any of the subject benchmarks in English, reading, science and math.

Janet Godwin, who is CEO of the ACT, released a statement expressing her concern about the downward trend of results.

“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,” said ACT CEO Janet Godwin.

“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.”

Godwin also said that the blame for the low scores cannot entirely be pinned on the restrictions put in place during the Covid pandemic.

“These declines are not simply a byproduct of the pandemic. They are further evidence of longtime systemic failures that were exacerbated by the pandemic. A return to the pre-pandemic status quo would be insufficient and a disservice to students and educators. These systemic failures require sustained collective action and support for the academic recovery of high-school students as an urgent national priority and imperative,” Godwin said.

Washington D.C. students had the highest average ACT scores at 26.9/40, followed by California and Massachusetts whose students scored 26.5/40.  The states with the lowest average scores were Mississippi with an average of 17.8/40 and Nevada, with an average of 17.3/40.

Several universities have chosen to make ACT scores optional. The University of California has opted for a “test-blind” policy where ACT scores are not considered for enrollment, even if a student submits them.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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