ACT Scores Continue to Decline

The United States class of 2022’s average ACT score has dropped to the lowest it has been in over three decades: sitting at a 19.8.

The highest one student can score on this test is a 36.

According to US News, many colleges like scores 22 or above, and the most prestigious colleges like scores over 30.

Over the past couple years, scores have gradually been dropping – but not to this extent. 

There are many reasons why this might have happened.

English Teacher Nicole Calandra said, “I think the decline in ACT scores is twofold: decline in learning/content knowledge and the decreased emphasis on ACT scores for enrollment.”

The pandemic forcefully excluded students from learning valuable knowledge in their high school career. 

Online learning made it extremely difficult for students to learn vital information- information they would be tested on with the ACT.

Although the height of the pandemic was in 2020, the information that students missed out from learning during that time may show up on college-like tests, like the ACT.

But why have scores still been in decline, even after the ongoing recovery from the pandemic?

“Academic preparedness is where we are seeing the decline,” said US News.

The lack of proper preparation of subjects like math and reading is the cause of this trend.

These problems may be because of students’ lack of effort, or schools (unlike Sunnyslope) not effectively teaching ACT related subjects.

Thousands of students are taking the ACT but many factors are preventing them from getting exceptional scores. 

However, there are other reasons that may explain the decline.

In recent years, increasing numbers of colleges and universities are not requiring applicants to turn in their ACT scores. 

Some schools are not even considering scores for acceptance.

This possibly has caused students taking the ACT to not take the initiative to prepare for the test- because they didn’t see a need to.

Many students around the country- who are college bound- are not even taking the test because of this. 

Receiving a bad ACT score now doesn’t mean certain academic failure, like it may have meant when scores were more valuable; students now have the opportunity to attend impressive colleges despite their scores.

Although this is positive, it also can have negative effects.

The ACT can determine students “college-readiness benchmark,” according to USA today.

Lack of preparation, leading to bad scores on the ACT may cause students to not be ready for the high school to college transition.

The ACT tests students on complex topics such as problem solving, mathematical, scientific and more.

If students are scoring low around the country, this can represent that theyre are not prepared for the future.

This is honestly frightening; if ACT scores keep declining, we could see negative effects on the country later on. 

This shows the importance of the ACT test.

Sunnyslope’s average ACT score is above the national average. 

Nicole Calandra stated, “I believe we performed at such a high level given our high academic standards, rigorous curriculum, and ACT test prep collaboration among teachers and students.”

Assuming that the low nationwide ACT scores were ultimately caused by the lack of preparation, Sunnyslope High School was able to succeed the national average with proper preparation. 

Every student their junior year at Sunnyslope high school must take the ACT- despite whether they would or would not like to go to college. 

Nationally, the majority of students take the test optionally; these students who choose to are are most likely “college-bound” students.

Sunnyslopes average was higher than the national average, meaning students here, qualified or not qualified for college still greatly succeeded. 

Overall, this means all students at Sunnyslope, on average, score higher than college bound students around the country.

This is extremely impressive, and shows the great academics that Sunnsylope high school offers. 

The nation wide ACT scores were the lowest they have been in a long time; however, Sunnyslope was able to stay above average.