ACT Scores Over Time by Level of High School Preparation

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For each year from 2009 to 2013, 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 ACT Composite test scores 2.7 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 (3.0 to 3.5 points), Reading (2.6 to 3.0), Mathematics (2.7 to 3.0), and Science (2.5 to 2.7).

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Average ACT Scores by Core Curriculum Completion Status, 2009–2013

Graph reads: Between 2009 and 2013, the average ACT Reading score for high school graduates who had completed or had planned to complete at least a core curriculum dipped slightly but was higher and dipped less than that of graduates who had not completed or had not planned to complete a core curriculum.

Students Who Took Core or More
Subject20092010201120122013
English21.721.621.521.321.2
Reading22.322.222.022.022.0
Mathematics21.921.921.821.821.7
Science21.721.721.621.621.5
Composite22.022.021.921.821.7

Students Who Took Less Than Core
Subject20092010201120122013
English18.318.118.318.317.8
Reading19.419.219.319.419.0
Mathematics18.918.919.019.118.9
Science19.219.019.019.118.8
Composite19.118.919.019.118.7