describe the imageNow that the class of 2013 has graduated (and we’re already looking at the class of 2014 for this spring), it’s important to take a look back on how these students did on the ACT so future students know what they’re up against.

Unfortunately, the ACT 2013 scorecard isn’t going to be hard to beat.

The Scores from 2103

High school students have been getting lower and lower scores on the ACT, and unfortunately, 2013 was the lowest educators have seen in the past five years.

Though the highest score a student can get on the ACT is a 36, 2013’s class only managed to eek out an average of 20.9, which is a .2 drop from 2012’s scores. (source)

All sections of the ACT saw drops, the worst-performing areas being Science, where only 36% of students met the benchmark that indicates college readiness. 

ACT officials think that part of the decline in scores is because there were more students who took the test in 2013 than in the previous year. About 1.8 million students took the ACT (54% of the graduating class) this year, whereas only 49% of the 2012 class took it.

Higher numbers of students means more chances for unprepared students to lower the average score, and more chances for students who simply don’t plan on going to college to not likely give much care to the test process at all.

The other problem this 20.9 average indicates is a lack of proper high school education in preparing students for college. Only 39% of students taking the ACT met three or more out of the 4 college readiness benchmarks (that means 71% of students failed to meet any of them). Those students who passed at least 3 benchmarks have a 75% chance of getting a “C” grade or higher in entry-level college courses. (source)

There’s a small bright side here, though: many independent researchers have pointed out that the English and Math sections of the ACT are the only important sections in determining college success. Lower scores in Science and Reading therefore don’t mean that a student isn’t ready for college. 

For more details, facts, and charts on the 2013 class’s ACT performance, check out the official report on

The Importance of ACT Preparation

These results are a good reason to make sure you prepare for the ACT and learn how it works so you can do your very best on test day.

Though some of the low scores the class of 2013 likely had to do with poor high school preparation, it’s probable that many didn’t study properly for the test, either.

If you’re planning on taking the ACT in 2014, show the class of 2013 that you mean business. Sign up for online test preparation, study hard, and raise those scores for next year’s students to try to beat!