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Human Events
Human Events
21 Oct 2023
Morgonn McMichael

NextImg:MORGONN MCMICHAEL: ACT admissions test posts lowest average scores in 30 years

High school students’ test scores on the ACT college admissions test have reached their lowest levels in over 30 years, a trend many are attributing to the COVID-19 pandemic response by educational institutions.

According to a recent report by NPR, ACT scores across the nation have been decreasing for six consecutive years, with this trend significantly accelerating after the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as no surprise, given the fact that the shift to online learning over in-person classroom attendance placed barriers to learning for students across the country.

Earlier this year, data from Best Colleges revealed that standardized testing scores had dropped to their lowest levels in years, with just 22% of students meeting the benchmarks in math, reading, science, and English. Now, the average ACT composite score for students across the country has dropped to a 30-year low of 19.5 out of 36.

Janet Godwin, the CEO of ACT, explained that ACT test results have not reached their pre-pandemic level, a trend she believes will never recover. Godwin explained, however, that the ACT is still a valuable measure of a student’s college readiness.

“In terms of college readiness, even in a test-optional environment, these kinds of objective test scores about academic readiness are incredibly important,” Godwin said.

But many universities across the country aren’t so sure. Over the last few years, a number of colleges have abandoned the requirement of standardized testing for admission altogether. Critics have long argued that standardized testing favors wealthy students over low-income ones, contributing to educational inequity. Likewise, opponents have standardized testing claim that the test results do not tell the full story of a student’s educational ability or positive attributes.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.