Test Prep

Class of 2020 Logs Average ACT Score of 20.6

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The average composite ACT score fell to 20.6 among the class of 2020, marking the lowest average in a decade, according to a new report from the ACT. The report is in line with news that average SAT scores for the class of 2020 also fell below what they were during the previous year.


When broken down by section, the average ACT scores for the class of 2020 were as follows:

  • English: 19.9
  • Math: 20.2
  • Reading: 21.2
  • Science: 20.6
  • Composite: 20.6

The relatively low average ACT score for the class of 2020 means more than just whether students had better college acceptance odds, but also reflects their college readiness, the organization noted. In fact, just 26 percent of students who took the ACT from the class of 2020 met all four of the ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks.

"By our measures, more than half of underserved students aren't college ready," said ACT CEO Janet Godwin in a statement about the scores. "That's unacceptable, and we must do better. COVID-19 will only exacerbate these gaps and more students will miss out on opportunities to find success. I am hopeful though, that even with the disruption of 2020, ACT data will continue to serve as a consistent evaluation tool crucial to assessing learning gaps, identifying systemic barriers in education and most importantly highlighting opportunities for growth. Together with educators we will work tirelessly to improve student outcomes."

Mass. Students Achieve Highest Composite Score

About 1.7 million students from the class of 2020 took the ACT, which represents about half of graduating seniors. The organization created a state-by-state breakdown of the scores, showing which states had the highest and lowest composite scores. Massachusetts scored the highest, with Connecticut close behind. You can see the states where the students logged the highest and lowest scores below. Keep in mind, however, that these stats should be viewed in light of each state's participation rate.

Top States, Along With Average Composite Score:

  • Massachusetts: 26 (18 percent of students tested)
  • Connecticut: 25.9 (19 percent of students tested)
  • New Hampshire: 25.7 (12 percent of students tested)
  • New York: 24.9 (20 percent of students tested)
  • Maine: 24.9 (5 percent of students tested)
  • Rhode Island: 24.8 (11 percent of students tested)
  • Michigan: 24.6 (17 percent of students tested)
  • New Jersey: 24.4 (23 percent of students tested)
  • Virginia: 24.4 (19 percent of students tested)
  • Delaware: 24.2 (11 percent of students tested)

Lowest States, Along With Average Composite Score:

  • Nevada: 17.9 (100 percent of students tested)
  • Mississippi: 18.2 (100 percent of students tested)
  • South Carolina: 18.4 (76 percent of students tested)
  • Hawaii: 18.5 (82 percent of students tested)
  • Louisiana: 18.7 (100 percent of students tested)
  • Oklahoma: 18.7 (100 percent of students tested)
  • Alabama: 18.8 (100 percent of students tested)
  • North Carolina: 18.8 (100 percent of students tested)
  • Arkansas: 19 (100 percent of students tested)
  • Arizona: 19.1 (71 percent of students tested)

Among the states that tested 100 percent of graduates, Utah and Wisconsin logged the highest average scores, at 20.2 and 20.1, respectively.

Resource: To read the entire Profile Report for the Class of 2020, visit the ACT's website.

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