Lowest ACT State Score: Mississippi
…and your high ACT score!
Eighteen states currently have 100% ACT participation. The state with the highest average score out of that group has a lot to be proud of because that average represents the entire high school population of that state.
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- North Dakota
Highest ACT State Score with 100% Participation: Illinois
There are eighteen states with 100% ACT participation – 36% of the country! These states have made the ACT part of their statewide testing regimens, helping high school students be better prepared for their college applications.
Have you recently gotten your ACT score? Wondering about how it compares to others in your state? Or are you curious as to how your state’s average ACT score stacks up in comparison to the rest of the country?
So who wins? Illinois, with a 20.8 average composite score. It narrowly beats Colorado, which has a 20.6 composite. Wisconsin is in third with a 20.5 composite average.
Maine wins this one by a landslide, with just 10% of their students taking the ACT. This is likely because the SAT is still the test of choice in that Northeastern state. However, the SAT, which was once required, is now optional in Maine as well.
This means that if you get a composite of 21 or higher, you will beat out half of the other high school students in the country. But what about in your state? Read on to learn how well you have to do to be above average in your home state.
Chart of Average ACT Score by State from 2016
As the ACT becomes a staple of Mississippi’s state testing, score averages will likely increase. If you’re curious about Mississippi’s recent ACT growth, you can read more here.
Via ACT, Inc.
ACT Hall of Fame
|32%||20.5||19.1||19.5||81%||Kentucky||24.1||100%||19.5||64%||District of Columbia|
And now, check out our table of ACT state averages for the class of 2016, the latest available data. We have also included state participation rates, to give you an idea of the reach of the ACT in each state, and the size of the population being tested.
Mississippi earns the dubious honor of getting the lowest average ACT score, with an average composite of 18.4. However, this is likely because Mississippi has been rapidly expanding the use of the ACT in recent years. Missisippi only mandated statewide testing starting in the 2014-2015 school year. It’s not surprising that such a big jump in test-takers would result in a lower average, as the ACT was not historically taken by a majority of Mississippian high school students.
Posted by Halle Edwards | Feb 23, 2015 11:30:00 AM
Trying to maximize your ACT score? Avoid this common ACT mistake to improve your composite. Also, check out our strategies to raise your ACT essay score.
Have friends who also need help with test prep?
Before we list all of the state averages, we thought it would be fun to highlight the highs and lows of the U.S.’s ACT performance. See if your state made the cut below!
SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips
Learn more about the national ACT average score and ACT score percentiles to give you even more context for your score.
Which state will come out on top?
Now that you know about average ACT scores, you might be curious what scores are considered good by various colleges. To find out, check out our guide to developing a target ACT score based on the schools you want to apply to.