Minnesota students continue to lead nation on ACT

Published 7:01 am Sunday, October 18, 2020

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ROSEVILLE – Minnesota students in the class of 2020 earned an average composite score of 21.3 on the ACT college entrance exam. This score placed Minnesota first among the 17 states where 90 percent or more of students took the exam, despite a 0.1 point drop in average composite score from the 2019 results.

Nationally, 49 percent of 2020 high school graduates took the ACT, earning an average composite score of 20.6.

The majority of the class of 2020 took the ACT by fall 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. It is too early to determine how the pandemic will affect ACT testing and scores of future graduating classes.

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“Minnesota’s future depends on the success of our students today and I’m proud of the accomplishments of the class of 2020,” said Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker. “We must continue to find ways for our school communities to support all of our students, especially as we work to tackle the disparities in our education system that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the uncertainties of our present, together we will work to ensure that students of all backgrounds across our state are ready for what’s next in their lives after high school, whether that’s career or college.”

Thirty percent of Minnesota’s class of 2020 met all four ACT college-readiness benchmarks, which is four percentage points higher than the national average. Additionally, 77 percent of Minnesota students who graduated in 2020 were likely to attain the Silver, Gold or Platinum ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate, compared to 70 percent nationally. To reach a Silver, Gold or Platinum ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate, students must earn a composite score of 17 or higher on the ACT.

Overall, ACT scores for Minnesota’s student groups have remained very close over the past five years, meaning gaps between student groups remain the same.

ACT annually releases the Condition of College & Career Readiness report, and includes ACT score results from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

National and state ACT Condition of College & Career Readiness 2020 reports are available on the ACT website.