Along with national trend, state’s ACT scores drop slightly in 2019

Courtesy of MDE

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has released ACT results for the spring 2019 statewide administration of the ACT to all public high school juniors.

The average score for juniors decreased from 17.8 in 2018 to 17.6 in 2019. The percentage of juniors meeting the benchmark scores for all four tested ACT subjects remained flat at 9% from 2018 to 2019.

Scores for Mississippi public school students who graduated in 2019 decreased from 18.3 to 18.1.

The national average ACT score for all students in the class of 2019, which includes public and private school students, was 20.7, down from 20.8 in 2018. ACT scores nationwide have dropped in recent years as the population of students taking the test has broadened.

Students who take four or more years of English and three or more years each of math, social studies and natural science typically outperform their peers who report taking fewer courses in these subjects.

“ACT research shows that taking certain specific courses in high school substantially increases students’ readiness for college-level work as well as their readiness for workforce training programs,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

The MDE provides districts with training related to analyzing ACT data, evaluating course-taking patterns and designing ACT preparation courses.

All school districts are now required to offer two specialized classes, the Essentials for College Literacy and the Essentials for College Math, to seniors who are on the cusp of meeting the ACT benchmark scores. All students who earn a grade of 80% or higher in these courses are entitled to enter credit-bearing college courses, without remediation, at all Mississippi public universities and community colleges.

View school- and district-level ACT results for juniors at

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