Pandemic Resulted in Significant Drop in ACT Scores But Gender Disparities Remain Constant

The American College Testing Program recently released the results for 2022 high school graduating seniors who took the ACT college entrance examination. The ACT test is graded on a scale of 1 to 36.

This year the average composite score on the ACT test for all students was 19.8. This is the lowest score since 1991, undoubtedly due to the adverse effects of the pandemic on high school education.

The average score for women who took the test was 20.0. For men, the average score was 19.7. While the average scores have been declining, the small gender gap in test scores has remained relatively constant over the past decade with only minor fluctuations.

Women held an edge on the English part of the test with an average score of 19.6 compared to an 18.5 average score for men. Women also held an edge in reading scores with an average score of 20.9 compared to 20.0 for men. In mathematics, men had an average score of 19.7 compared to an average score of 19.1 for women. In science, the average score for men was 20.0 compared to an average score for women of 19.9.

Some 57 percent of all women ACT test takers were rated as achieving a benchmark score that demonstrated that they were ready for college-level English classes. Only 50 percent of men reached the college-readiness benchmark in English. In contrast, 34 percent of men were deemed ready for college-level mathematics, compared to 29 percent of women who took the ACT. Women held a 43 to 39 edge in reading but men had a 34 to 31 advantage in science.

Some 23 percent of men who took the ACT test were deemed college-ready in all four areas of English, mathematics, reading, and science. For women, 21 percent of all test takers were deemed college-ready in all four areas.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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