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Home > Research, Data & Reports > College Readiness & Participation Data > ACT & SAT Test Scores

 

ACT & SAT Test Scores

ACT scores of Minnesota high school test takers

In Minnesota, the most commonly taken standardized college entrance exam is the ACT. For the first time during the 2014-2015 school year, Minnesota provided the ACT to all Minnesota juniors at no cost to families. In total, 64,145 students (11th and 12th graders in 2016) took the test; an increase of 17,283 students or 37 percent over the class of 2015. This represented approximately 100 percent of the graduating class of 2016. In previous years between 74 to 78 percent of graduating classes took the test.

Minnesota student's average composite score of 21.1 (on a scale of 1 to 36) was higher than the national score of 20.8. Minnesota was first among the 18 states that provided the ACT to all students.



ACT Mean Composite Scores in Minnesota and Nationally for the School Years Ending 2007 to 2016*

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*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, 2016

College-Readiness* of ACT Test-Takers in Minnesota and Nation, 2016

*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


Minnesota Test-Takers Meeting College Readiness Benchmark in English* by Race/Ethnicity, 2016

Minnesota Test-Takers Meeting College Readiness Benchmark in English* by Race/Ethnicity, 2016

*Act benchmark score of 18 in English indicates college readiness.

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

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

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

Source: ACT


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. In 2016, 67 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:

  • 240 in English
  • 181 in Mathematics
  • 400 in Reading
  • 334 in Science
  • 182 in STEM

Eighteen states, Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming require all of their high school seniors to take the assessment.

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


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