ACT scores across the nation have dropped to a 30-year low with Mississippi ranking as the state with the second-lowest average.
According to officials with the standardized test, Mississippi students averaged a 17.5 during the 2022-23 school year in comparison to a national average of 19.5 out of 36 points.
In 2021-22, the nationwide average was 19.8 while Mississippi brought in an average of 17.4. In 2020-21, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) reported the state’s average score at 17.3.
Mississippi is currently one of six states that require every student to take the ACT before graduating high school.
Throughout the current academic year, MDE has been touting successes in test scores from K-12 schools located throughout the state as results from the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) and the number of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams coming in at record highs.
These statewide academic achievements — in which Governor Tate Reeves has dubbed “The Mississippi Miracle” — also include an increase in accountability grades from school districts during the 2022-23 school year.
“These results are a testament to years of effort to successfully strengthen Mississippi’s education system,” Reeves said. “It is because of you that the eyes of the nation have turned to our state as a model for how to effectively educate students. The Mississippi Miracle is real, and our kids are learning more than ever before.”
Despite this year’s successes, Mississippi students continue to struggle breaking through the previous years’ average ACT scores, with academic officials attributing the plateau to the increase in colleges requiring an ACT score during the admission process.