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U.S. - average ACT scores, by state 2019

Massachusetts and Connecticut students led the way in composite ACT scores in the United States in 2019, with an average composite score of 25.5 points out of 36. Nevada students had the lowest average composite score, with 17.9 points.

What is the ACT?

The American College Test, or ACT, is one of the leading college and university entrance exams in the United States. The ACT tests reading, grammar, science, and math, as well as an optional writing supplement. Each section of the test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, whereby test takers earn one point for every correct answer, and do not lose any points for wrong answers. The final score for each test section is then averaged to find the composite score, which is also scored between 1 and 36.

College entrance exams

The other main college entrance exam in the U.S. is the Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT, which has a maximum score of 2400 (although the average score is about 1060). The SAT tests math, evidence-based reading and writing, and has an optional essay supplement as well. College entry exams like the SAT and ACT are used by universities to determine which applicants they accept, and more selective schools, such as the Ivy League, usually have higher requirements when looking at test scores.

Average composite American college testing (ACT) score in the United States in 2019, by state

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Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period


Age group

25 years and older

Supplementary notes

The Act score range is 1 to 36. Approximately 1.9 million 2013 U.S. high school students took the test.
The percentage of high school students taking the test varies greatly from one state to another.

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