Iowa high school students who took the ACT college entrance exam this spring performed better than students in most other states. A report issued Wednesday shows 67 percent of this year’s graduating class in Iowa took the ACT.
Iowa’s average composite score of 22.2 rose from 22 the previous year. The national average is 21, out of a possible 36. Iowa posted the second best score among the 30 states where at least 60 percent of students took the exam. Paul Weeks is with the Iowa City-based ACT.
“There’s always a little bit of caveat with comparing one state to another, but if you just look at average composite, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota tend to be at the higher end among the states testing 60-percent of more of their students,” Weeks said.
Minnesota topped the list. Iowa and Wisconsin tied for second. Weeks says one positive trend in Iowa is minority students — particularly Hispanic and African-American students — are performing better on the ACT in recent years.
“While we haven’t seen an increase in the number of African-American students testing, we have seen an increase in the percentage who are meeting the college readiness benchmarks,” Weeks said. In addition, Weeks notes while Iowa’s average math scores on the ACT exam have held steady in recent years, science scores have been on the rise.