Indiana high school graduates who took the ACT in 2014 did slightly better than last year’s graduates, but their average score is still behind where the state stood in 2010.
Indiana scored above the national average, but because not all Hoosiers take the exam — some just take the SAT, for example — it was hard to say how valid the comparison is with other states.
The state averaged a composite score of 21.9 (a top score is 36), 0.9 points higher than the national average of 21. A composite score takes into account average scores on the English, math, reading and science tests. The ACT is an achievement test that is supposed to measure how well students can handle their first year of college coursework.
Only about 40 percent of Indiana’s 2014 graduating class took the ACT, however. More than 1.84 million students took the test nationally, but only 27,226 from Indiana.
Composite scores improved slightly from 2013, increasing to 21.9 from 21.7, but the state is down overall from the 22.3 composite score it recorded in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The national composite score has not changed much since 2010.
The graph below shows the breakdown of the percentage of Indiana students compared to the nation as a whole who met minimum score requirements to be considered college- and career-ready in the tested subjects.
According to information released by ACT, only 39 percent of all ACT-tested graduates met three or more of the four ACT minimum score benchmarks. Almost one-third of students failed to meet any benchmarks, suggesting they are not prepared for college in those core subject areas.
The benchmarks show what scores are needed to indicate students have a 75 percent chance of earning a grade of C or higher and a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher in a typical first-year college class.