Page Nav



Classic Header


Breaking News:


ACT scores hit 30-year low as some universities drop admission testing requirements

  Students’ ACT scores hit a more than   30-year record low , according to the organization that administers the college admissions test. Me...

 Students’ ACT scores hit a more than 30-year record low, according to the organization that administers the college admissions test. Meanwhile, some universities have opted to drop admission testing requirements altogether.

High school students’ results have been declining for six consecutive years. Approximately 1.4 million students took the test this year, an increase from the previous year, and the average composite score declined by 0.3 points from 2022. 

According to ACT, between 2022 and 2023, the average mathematics score dropped 0.3 points, English 0.4 points, reading 0.3 points, and science 0.3 points.

The average scores for mathematics, reading, and science were below ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, the minimum scores required for students to have a “high probability” of success in a college-level course.

ACT reported that four in 10 high school seniors met “none of the college readiness benchmarks” this year, with 70% failing to meet mathematics standards.

“The percentage of students meeting all four benchmarks dropped 1.3 percentage points, from 22.1% of students in 2022 to 20.8% of students in 2023, whereas the percentage of students meeting no benchmarks increased by 1.7 percentage points, from 41.6% in 2022 to 43.3% in 2023,” it stated. 

ACT CEO Janet Godwin said, “We are also continuing to see a rise in the number of seniors leaving high school without meeting any of the college readiness benchmarks, even as student GPAs continue to rise and students report that they feel prepared to be successful in college. The hard truth is that we are not doing enough to ensure that graduates are truly ready for postsecondary success in college and career. These systemic problems require sustained action and support at the policy level. This is not up to teachers and principals alone – it is a shared national priority and imperative.” 

ACT noted that the class of 2023 were in their freshman year of high school when COVID-related government shutdowns forced school closures for extended periods of time, negatively impacting students’ learning opportunities.

As test scores continue to decline, some universities are choosing to adopt test-optional admissions standards. For the 2021-2022 application cycle, several schools dropped the requirement, including Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Yale University.

In March, Columbia University announced that it would permanently drop SAT and ACT testing requirements, becoming the first Ivy League school to do so. The State University of New York announced in April that it would no longer require standardized testing for admissions.

No comments