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ACT Scores

In Minnesota, the most commonly taken standardized college entrance exam is the ACT. In total, 61,101 students (11th and 12th graders in 2017) took the test; a decrease of 3,044 students tested in 2016.

Minnesota highlights

  • Minnesota student's average composite score of 21.5 (on a scale of 1 to 36) was higher than the national score of 21.0; and first among 17 states who had 100 percent of graduating class take the test.
  • All student groups saw an increase in composite scores, with Black, Hispanic and Pacific Islanders each seeing a 0.5 point increase.
  • 31 percent of 2017 Minnesota graduates met all four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks compared to 29 percent of 2016 test takers.
  • 45 percent (27,269) graduates indicated an interest in STEM college majors and/or careers.
  • 81 percent of test-takers indicated that they were taking three or more years of math, and 53 percent indicated they were taking physics.
  • Graduates taking three or more years of math had an average math score of 22.2 compared to the average math score of 17.1 for students taking less than three years of math.
  • Minnesota Key Findings
  • Minnesota Profile Report
  • Infographic: National ACT Results

Search for Minnesota Public High School Test Scores

ACT data on individual high schools can be viewed via SLEDS. Alternatively, ACT test-taker scores at individual Minnesota public high schools are available from the Minnesota Department of Education in a downloadable spreadsheet. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education only receives state-level data.

ACT Mean Composite Scores in Minnesota and Nationally for the School Years Ending 2008 to 2017*

ACT Mean Composite Scores in Minnesota and Nationally for the School Years Ending 2008 to 2017*

*In 2016 all students in graduating class took the test, compared to about 75 percent in prior years

Source: ACT


College Readiness

A higher percent of Minnesota test-takers are more college ready than national according to ACT data.

College-Readiness* of ACT Test-Takers in Minnesota and Nation, 2017

College-Readiness* of ACT Test-Takers in Minnesota and Nation, 2017

*Percent of test-takers meeting college-ready benchmark scores. A benchmark score is the minimum needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college course.

Source: ACT


Average ACT Composite Scores by Race and Core Curriculum Status*, 2017

All student groups taking ACT recognized Core Curriculum* have higher ACT composite scores.

Average ACT Composite Scores by Race and Core Curriculum Status*, 2017

*Core results correspond to students taking four or more years of English AND three or more years each of math, social studies and natural science.

Source: ACT

Reports released by ACT emphasize the need for students to take a specific sequence of courses in secondary school to be ready for college and work beyond high school. For over 20 years ACT has recommended that high school students take a certain number of courses in high school to be ready for college. ACT stresses the need for high school students to take challenging courses. Additional research found that "the level of academic achievement that students attain by 8th grade has a larger impact on their college and career readiness by the time they graduate high school than anything that happens academically in high school."

Composite scores and scores by subject area: Minnesota and National
Mean Composite Score Total Students English Math Reading Science
Year MN National MN National MN National MN National MN National MN National
200722.521.243,5341,300,59921.820.722.521.022.821.522.521.0
200822.621.144,8631,421,94121.920.622.621.023.021.122.520.8
200922.721.143,6421,480,46922.020.622.721.023.121.422.620.9
201022.921.044,3231,568,83522.320.522.921.023.221.322.820.9
201122.921.144,9521,623,11222.320.623.021.122.921.322.820.9
201222.821.144,9771,666,01722.120.523.021.122.921.322.720.9
201323.020.944,6761,799,24322.220.223.120.923.121.122.920.7
201422.921.045,3051,845,78722.120.323.020.923.121.322.920.8
201522.721.046,8621,924,43621.820.422.820.823.021.422.720.9
201621.120.864,1452,090,34220.020.121.220.621.321.321.320.8
201721.521.061,1012,030,03820.420.321.520.721.821.421.621.0

Source: ACT


Minnesota Composite ACT scores by race/ethnicity
Year All Students African American/Black American Indian/Alaskan Native Hispanic Asian American/Pacific Islander White Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Two or More Races Other/No Response
200722.517.419.720.520.422.922.122.8
200822.617.620.620.320.423.022.023.2
200922.717.820.220.420.423.221.922.8
201022.917.720.520.020.823.522.222.5
201122.917.920.220.120.623.521.221.923.2
201222.817.920.320.420.723.419.522.223.7
201323.018.019.720.220.723.620.422.323.5
201422.917.919.919.820.723.720.022.323.0
201522.717.619.319.820.723.720.122.221.3
201621.116.516.617.920.222.218.420.419.8
201721.517.017.018.420.622.618.920.820.3

Source: ACT


Minnesota test takers by race/ethnicity
Year All Students African American/Black American Indian/Alaskan Native Hispanic Asian American/Pacific Islander White Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Two or More Races Other/No Response
200743,5341,3242906811,93932,6925876,608
200844,8631,6292398122,13335,0107125,040
200943,6421,7862758712,26535,5637842,882
201044,3231,9953079762,37536,2139432,457
201144,9522,0952321,3892,64136,070201,0331,472
201244,9772,0472111,7572,62835,159451,4591,671
201344,6762,1402101,9132,53534,279351,5572,007
201445,3052,4122082,2042,79033,895341,6752,087
201546,8622,7442202,5622,91333,796341,6832,910
201664,1453,8125204,2713,35442,495822,7106,910
201761,1013,8634534,3013,41239,798672,5336,674

Source: ACT


Untitled Document

ACT Scores of First-time, Degree-seeking Students Admitted to Minnesota 4-Year Colleges, 2016-2017
Composite English Math
Institution Name Number submitting ACT scores Percent submitting ACT scores 25th Percentile score 75th Percentile score 25th Percentile score 75th Percentile score 25th Percentile score 75th Percentile score
Public Universities
University of Minnesota-Crookston 192 92% 20 24 18 23 18 25
University of Minnesota-Duluth 2,110 99% 22 26 20 26 22 27
University of Minnesota-Morris 357 95% 22 28 21 28 22 27
University of Minnesota-Rochester 142 98% 22 27 21 26 22 26
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 5,467 93% 26 31 25 32 25 31
Bemidji State University 790 97% 20 24 18 23 18 25
Minnesota State University Moorhead 790 91% 20 25 19 25 19 25
Minnesota State University-Mankato 2,274 93% 20 24 19 25 18 23
Saint Cloud State University 1,587 88% 18 24 20 23 19 25
Southwest Minnesota State University 406 82% 18 23 16 22 17 24
Winona State University 1,555 98% 20 25 20 25 19 25
Private Colleges
Augsburg College 456 96% 19 25 18 24 18 25
Bethany Lutheran College 124 90% 20 27 20 27 19 25
Bethel University 537 96% 21 28 20 28 20 27
Bethlehem College & Seminary 12 54% 21 28 23 27 18 31
Carleton College 365 64% 30 33
College of Saint Benedict 474 95% 22 28 21 29 22 27
College of Saint Scholastica 426 95% 21 26 20 25 21 26
Crown College 118 84% 19 25 18 25 18 24
Hamline University 521 95% 21 27 20 27 21 26
Macalester College 318 63% 29 33 30 35 27 32
Martin Luther College 189 96% 21 27 21 27 22 27
Minneapolis College of Art and Design 136 83% 20 26 20 27 17 24
North Central University 198 89% 19 25 17 25 17 25
Oak Hills Christian College 13 72% 16 21 14 23 15 19
Saint Johns University 427 93% 22 28 21 27 22 28
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota 262 92% 20 26 19 25 19 26
St Catherine University 392 95% 19 25 18 25 18 24
St Olaf College 668 81% 26 31 26 33 25 30
University of Northwestern-St Paul 393 95% 21 27 21 29 19 27
University of St Thomas 1,307 98% 24 29 23 29 24 28

At 25th percentile: 25 percent of students scored at or below score posted

At 75th percentile: 25 percent of students scored above score posted

The highest ACT score is 36

Source: U.S. Department of Education, IPEDS Institutional Characteristics Survey


About the Test

The ACT test comprises four subject areas: English, reading, mathematics, science and an optional writing test. The ACT assessment helps colleges determine how well students are prepared for college. Colleges use the ACT scores for student admissions, advising, and placement. Minnesota's state universities generally require a composite score of 21 or higher for admission. The highest possible ACT score is 36. Nationally 60 percent of U.S. graduating class took the ACT test.

In 2017, 79 Minnesota students achieved a perfect composite score; meaning they scored a 36 in all four subject areas.

A perfect score was achieved in the following subject tests by Minnesota test takers:

  • 425 in English
  • 152 in Mathematics
  • 618 in Reading
  • 433 in Science
  • 196 in STEM

Seventeen states, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming were considered to have 100 percent of their graduating seniors take the test in 2017.

The ACT results are more representative of Minnesota than the SAT. Only about 10 percent of Minnesota college bound seniors take the SAT, compared to 46 percent nationally. Minnesota students taking the SAT are typically applying to selective out-of-state colleges.

the ACT is a research-based nonprofit organization.