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Average ACT Score by State

The ACT is a standardized exam used for college admissions in the United States. The exam covers four academic areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The ACT also has an optional writing portion.

Many universities require prospective students to take either the ACT or SAT, as standardized tests are believed to be one of the most effective tools for predicting students' success in college. Many schools accept both scores, and typically there is no preference for one exam over the other. Standardized test scores also help determine which states are best for education.

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36, with 36 being the highest possible score. This scored is calculated by averaging the scaled scores from each of the four subject areas. The scaled scores are translated from each section's raw score, which is the total number of correct answers. Any averages with decimals are rounded to the nearest whole number.

In 2019/2020, 1.67 million students took the ACT. The average composite score among these students was 20.6

The score a student receives corresponds to a percentile that compares how you did to the rest of the test-takers' population. Most scores are a little below or a little above the average score. The average ACT score is 20.6. Therefore if you receive a 21 composite score, you performed better than half of the students you took the exam.

A "good" score depends on the individual since each person usually has a goal score to achieve to get into the school they plan to apply for. The ACT can be taken and retaken up to 12 times and is administered seven times per year.

Fifteen states have 100% participation rates in the 2019-2020 ACT exam season. Massachusetts has the highest average ACT score of 26, and Connecticut followed closely with 25.9. Nevada had the lowest average ACT score of 17.9.

The states with the ten highest average ACT scores are:

  1. Massachusetts (26)
  2. Connecticut (25.9)
  3. New Hampshire (25.7)
  4. Maine (24.9)
  5. New York (24.9)
  6. Rhode Island (24.8)
  7. Illinois (24.7)
  8. Michigan (24.6)
  9. New Jersey (24.4)
  10. Virginia (24.4)

Average ACT Score by State

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Average ACT Score by State

State Average ACT Score % Passing English % Passing Reading % Passing Math % Passing Science
Massachusetts2688.00%74.00%74.00%66.00%
Connecticut25.990.00%75.00%71.00%67.00%
New Hampshire25.788.00%73.00%72.00%64.00%
New York24.983.00%68.00%67.00%62.00%
Maine24.984.00%69.00%64.00%56.00%
Rhode Island24.885.00%69.00%64.00%58.00%
Illinois24.782.00%64.00%61.00%55.00%
Michigan24.684.00%67.00%65.00%60.00%
Virginia24.480.00%66.00%60.00%57.00%
New Jersey24.479.00%63.00%62.00%53.00%
Delaware24.279.00%64.00%59.00%56.00%
Maryland23.869.00%57.00%50.00%47.00%
Pennsylvania23.780.00%64.00%60.00%55.00%
Colorado23.782.00%65.00%61.00%57.00%
Vermont23.383.00%69.00%63.00%60.00%
California23.372.00%56.00%53.00%46.00%
Florida23.153.00%43.00%32.00%29.00%
Washington22.965.00%54.00%52.00%47.00%
Idaho22.773.00%58.00%49.00%46.00%
Indiana22.673.00%57.00%53.00%47.00%
South Dakota21.768.00%54.00%49.00%46.00%
Georgia21.765.00%49.00%40.00%39.00%
Minnesota21.360.00%48.00%47.00%42.00%
Iowa21.170.00%54.00%44.00%45.00%
Oregon2163.00%49.00%43.00%40.00%
West Virginia20.961.00%46.00%30.00%32.00%
Missouri20.756.00%41.00%33.00%32.00%
Kansas20.467.00%52.00%44.00%41.00%
Utah20.258.00%43.00%36.00%34.00%
Texas20.256.00%44.00%39.00%35.00%
Wisconsin20.159.00%42.00%40.00%36.00%
Alaska20.160.00%49.00%42.00%36.00%
Ohio19.955.00%43.00%38.00%35.00%
Nebraska19.956.00%40.00%35.00%33.00%
Montana19.952.00%41.00%35.00%32.00%
Wyoming19.755.00%41.00%33.00%33.00%
North Dakota19.657.00%43.00%39.00%34.00%
Kentucky19.559.00%43.00%33.00%32.00%
Tennessee19.354.00%38.00%28.00%28.00%
New Mexico19.348.00%37.00%28.00%27.00%
Arizona19.147.00%35.00%32.00%27.00%
Arkansas1953.00%36.00%27.00%26.00%
North Carolina18.846.00%35.00%31.00%25.00%
Alabama18.851.00%35.00%23.00%24.00%
Oklahoma18.750.00%39.00%26.00%26.00%
Louisiana18.753.00%35.00%24.00%25.00%
Hawaii18.548.00%32.00%28.00%24.00%
South Carolina18.442.00%30.00%24.00%20.00%
Mississippi18.247.00%29.00%21.00%20.00%
Nevada17.938.00%27.00%21.00%18.00%

Average ACT Score by State