New Jersey ACT Scores Fall As Participation Rate Rises

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A record number of New Jersey students took the ACT in 2016, and the state’s average score decreased to its lowest in five years.

New Jersey’s performance was consistent with overall achievement among high school graduates who took the ACT college readiness exam nationally, according to data out today from the testing service. The number of students meeting ACT’s college readiness benchmark across subjects dipped from 28 percent last year to 26 percent this year.

ACT leaders said the results are a reflection of a larger pool of test-takers: more high school graduates, from a wider range of academic achievement levels, who are taking the ACT than ever before. Last year, 64 percent of graduates took the ACT, up from 59 percent the year before.

NJ Performance

This year, 33,646 state students took the exam and scored an average composite score of 23.1 out of a possible 36. That’s up from 30,263 and down from 23.2 last year. Five years ago, in 2012, 22,179 state students took the test and score an average 24.0.

A relatively lower number of New Jersey’s students take the test – which is more common in the Midwest, West and South – than nationwide. Thirty-two percent of state students took the test in 2016 versus 64 percent of American students.