ACT releases report showing composite test scores are lowest in 30 years

Average ACT scores lowest in 30 years
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 10:10 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Scores on the ACT college admission test dropped to the lowest they’ve been in 30 years, according to the latest report. The national average composite score was under 20 for the first time since 1991.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” said James Bondurant, a math teacher and tutor. “I’ve definitely noticed -- not just with ACT tutoring, but with math tutoring as well -- scores are definitely dropping.”

Bondurant says a big reason for the low scores is the COVID pandemic.

“You can’t build a strong house on a weak foundation,” he explained. “Well, for several kids, they weren’t able to build a strong foundation... Imagine when you were learning fractions or decimals or negatives, schools just said, ‘Go home. Teach yourself.’”

ACT released the report on October 12, saying 1.3 million students graduating in 2022 took the test. Their average composite score in Alabama was an 18, while the average national composite score was a 19.8.

“We all have different learning styles so when we switched to online learning, there was just one online lesson going out,” said Bondurant. “You either learned from this, or you didn’t. So some people did successfully learn from it, but a lot of people -- it just wasn’t their learning style.”

ACT reports that 42% of students met no College Readiness Benchmarks out of the four categories: English, reading, math, and science. The report goes on to say 32% met at least three of the categories and 22% met all four benchmarks.

Bondurant says if your student is struggling, his biggest piece of advice is to practice taking the test.

“You do need to learn the style of the ACT which means you do have to take practice ACT tests,” he said. “You have to see that style of test and practice with it but if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you will keep repeating them over and over.”

Because teachers are having to catch up students over the past few years, Bondurant says they don’t have much time to go over ACT test prep, so if you’re wanting your student to improve their score, then tutoring may be the best option.

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