Mass. students tops in nation on ACT test

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Recent Massachusetts high school graduates had the highest average score on the annual ACT test, a benchmark for their college and career readiness, according to test results released Wednesday.

Massachusetts high school seniors in the class of 2016 scored an average composite score of 24.8 out of a possible 36 points, up from last year’s average score of 24.4. The national average score was 20.8, according to results released by ACT Inc.

More than half of Massachusetts students (53 percent) met all four of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks (English, math, reading and science), well above the national average of 26 percent, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said.

“I am pleased to see the Commonwealth’s nation-leading results continue to improve, especially the growing percentage of students who met all four of ACT’s college readiness benchmarks,” Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said in a statement.

Last year, Massachusetts high school seniors tied with their peers in Connecticut for the top score in the country.

While most Massachusetts graduating seniors historically have taken the SAT test, according to DESE, the number of Bay State students taking the ACT during high school has increased by 32 percent between 2012 and 2016.

About 20,300 public and private school students — or about 28 percent of the 2016 graduating class — took the ACT during high school, the department said.

— Written by Colin A. Young

Copyright State House News Service