ACT Scores Over Time by Level of High School Preparation

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For each year from 2008 to 2012, ACT Composite and subject scores were higher for students who took a core curriculum or more in high school than for students who did not.

On average, high school graduates who completed at least a core curriculum earned Composite test scores 2.5 to 3.1 points higher than the scores of students who did not take a core curriculum. Similar ranges of higher scores for core or more curriculum completers are noted for each subject test: English (2.8 to 3.5 points), Reading (2.4 to 3.0), Mathematics (2.6 to 3.0), and Science (2.2 to 2.7).

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Average ACT Scores by Core Curriculum Completion Status, 2008–2012

Graph reads: Between 2008 and 2012, the average ACT Reading score for high school graduates who had completed or had planned to complete at least a core curriculum remained about the same and was higher than that of graduates who had not completed or had not planned to complete a core curriculum.

Students Who Took Core or More
Subject20082009201020112012
English21.621.721.621.521.3
Reading22.322.322.222.022.0
Mathematics21.921.921.921.821.8
Science21.621.721.721.621.6
Composite22.022.022.021.921.8

Students Who Took Less Than Core
Subject20082009201020112012
English18.818.318.118.318.3
Reading19.919.419.219.319.4
Mathematics19.318.918.919.019.1
Science19.419.219.019.019.1
Composite19.519.118.919.019.1