Utah average ACT score drops in 2022, but still tops national average

Utah increased the number of students taking the ACT college entrance exam by 8.6 percent, or 3,401 students, in 2022 but saw average composite scores decline from 20.6 to 19.9. Nationally, the participation increase was only 4.2 percent and included a decline from 20.3 to 19.8 in average composite score, according to results released today by ACT.

Utah pays for all high school juniors to take the ACT. Because schools closed due to the pandemic before all juniors had taken the ACT in 2020, many students had to use vouchers to take the test at other times during the year. For 2021, then, Utah saw an 11 percent decline in the number of students taking the test. ACT’s data also showed a disproportionate number of students who identify as other than white or Asian and students who are economically disadvantaged who did not participate in 2021.

“We are pleased to see a rebound, even if not a full rebound, in the number of Utah students taking the ACT,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson. “It’s important for us as a state to see how college-ready our students are. It is even more important that each student in the state see how college-ready she or he is.

Among states with at least 90 percent of students taking the ACT, Utah had the highest average composite score and the highest percentage of students meeting college benchmarks in English, reading, mathematics, and science, ACT noted.

Utah’s ACT results compared to national results:

Utah 202219.918.919.420.620.2
Nation 202219.819.019.320.419.9
Utah 202120.619.720.121.320.8
Nation 202120.319.619.920.920.4
Utah 201920.319.520.020.820.3
Nation 201920.720.120.421.220.7

Percentage of students who met college readiness benchmarks:

 EnglishMathReadingScienceAll Four
Utah 20225532433321
Nation 20225331413222
Utah 20215938463726
Nation 20215636443525
Utah 20195737423424
Nation 20195939453626

Utah 2022 disaggregated ACT scores compared to 2021 results:

All Students19.920.620.3
American Indian16.216.216.1
Black/African American16.316.516.6
Pacific Islander16.616.716.6
Two or more races20.221.220.7