Utah ACT composite scores rise slightly in 2017; Reading, science scores up, English down, Math holds steady

In 2017 42,580 Utah students – 97 percent of whom are public school students – took the ACT college entrance exam and posted an average score of 20.3, one-tenth of a point higher than in 2016, according to data released by ACT. Nationally, composite scores rose from 20.8 in 2016 to 21.0 in 2017.

In Utah, average ACT composite scores for black, American Indian, white, Hispanic, and Asian students rose from the previous year. Scores for Pacific Islander students declined four-tenths of a point.

“While it is good news that Utah students are holding steady on ACT test scores with a growing and increasingly economically diverse student population, it is better news to consider that our public school students are moving up when compared with other states who test all public high school students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson. “This report does show us that Utah has room to grow and the Utah State Board of Education is committed to preparing all students for college and careers.”

Utah and 16 other states (Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Wyoming) test all public high school juniors. In 2016 Utah ranked eighth in average composite scores among those states. This year, Utah moved into fifth place among those states.

When comparing only Utah public school students to the group of 17 states who test 100 percent of their public school students ACT found:

  • 57 percent of Utah public school students met ACT benchmark for college readiness in English compared to 51 percent of the 17 states as a whole.
  • 34 percent of Utah public school students met ACT benchmark for college readiness in math compared to 28 percent of the 17 states as a whole.
  • 42 percent of Utah public school students met ACT benchmark for college readiness in reading compared to 36 percent of the 17 states as a whole.
  • 34 percent of Utah public school students met ACT benchmark for college readiness in science compared to 27 percent of the 17 states as a whole.

Utah’s ACT results (all schools) compared to national results

 

Composite

English

Math

Reading

Science

Utah 2017

Nation 2017

20.3

21.0

19.5

20.3

19.9

20.7

20.8

21.4

20.6

21.0

Utah 2016

Nation 2016

20.2

20.8

19.4

20.1

19.6

20.6

20.8

21.3

20.3

20.8

Utah 2017 disaggregated ACT scores compared to 2016 results:

 

2016

2017

All Students

20.2

20.3

American Indian

15.8

16.6

Asian

20.6

21.0

Black/African American

16.5

16.6

Hispanic/Latino

17.3

17.4

Pacific Islander

17.2

16.8

White

21.2

21.4

Two or more races

20.8

20.9

No response

18.3

18.6

More information about Utah scores is on the ACT site.