Missouri’s average ACT score of 20.2 for the class of 2022 is higher than the national average of 19.8. A perfect ACT score is 36.

Missouri’s average ACT score ranks higher than national average (LISTEN)

According to ACT, the national average ACT Composite score for the high school class of 2022 is the lowest in more than three decades – and the first time since 1991 that the average was below 20.0.

Rose Babington, ACT Senior Director for State Partnerships, told Missourinet the Show-Me State’s average score dipped slightly from the previous year’s 20.6.

According to Babington, 83 Missouri students received a perfect score this time around.

She said 66% of class of 2022 Missouri students took the college readiness test, an increase from 63% the previous year. This is for all Missouri participants, regardless of whether they attend public or private school.

ACT data released Wednesday shows Missouri students excelled the most at reading, with an average score of 21. Science was next with a score of 20.4, followed by English and Math scores of 19.5.

“We’re talking about the scores relative to the standards and skills that colleges are looking for students to have. We actually have a benchmark score for each of those subject areas – English, math, reading and science – that sets a target number where we’d like students to be to give them the best chance of success in their first year college courses,” she said.

For English, the benchmark is 18. For Math and reading, it’s 22. Science is 23.

“What that tells us nationally is that in terms of academic preparation and readiness, gaps still exist and certainly were exacerbated during the pandemic but existed for many, many years consecutively in terms of students, mastering some of the really key standards and knowledge that we want them to have so that they can have the best chance of success in their first year college courses,” she said.

Among Missouri’s neighboring states, Illinois had the highest average score – 24.5 – but only 18% took the test. In Iowa, the average score was 21.4 and 49% of students tested. Kansas had an average score of 19.9 and 73% tested. Nebraska followed with a score of 19.4 and 94% tested. In Arkansas, 18.8 was the average score for the 93% who participated. Tennessee, who had 100% of students test, had an average score of 18.6. Kentucky’s score was also 18.6, where 96% of students tested. As for Oklahoma – their score was 17.9 and 94% took the test.

The highest average score goes to the District of Columbia with 26.9. Keep in mind that only 18% of students participated. In California, about 4% of students participated, with an average score of 26.5. Massachusetts, who had 9% of students participate, had an average score of 26.5.

“When we look at the big picture of all of our states, and then we look at the states who are testing more than 50% of their graduating class, Missouri is pretty much in the two spot in terms of average ACT composite score. South Dakota came in with a 21.5 average ACT composite score, and then Missouri. I think that puts Missouri in some good company when you’re looking, again, at those like states, who are testing more than half of their graduating class,” said Babington.

To hear the Show Me Today interview with Rose Babington, click below.

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