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South Dakota outperforms nation on ACT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022
CONTACT: Mary Stadick Smith, South Dakota Department of Education, 605-773-7228 or
Ruth Raveling, South Dakota Department of Education, 605-773-2593
 
South Dakota outperforms nation on ACT
 
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s graduating class of 2022 earned an average ACT composite score of 21.5, which is above the national average of 19.8 and the highest among neighboring states. Considering the state’s public school test-takers only, the average composite score was 21.6. The ACT is used to gain admission into colleges and universities throughout the country and for scholarship consideration.
 
“Kudos to school leaders, educators, and students across South Dakota. This achievement is one to celebrate, and it’s reflective of the teaching and learning that goes on every day in our schools,” said Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson.
 
Nationally, the composite score for public school students fell slightly from 20.3 in 2021 to 19.8 in 2022, while South Dakota’s public school average of 21.6 stayed steady. “That tells me South Dakota’s commitment to maintaining face to face instruction during the pandemic was the right one to support continued student learning,” Sanderson said.
 
When taking the ACT, students can choose which postsecondary institutions they want to receive their scores. South Dakota’s test-takers indicated they had aspirations of staying in state to pursue further education: the top 10 schools identified to receive scores were all South Dakota institutions. “Our students are overwhelmingly looking to South Dakota universities and technical colleges for that next step in their education. That’s good news for business, communities, and the future of our state,” Sanderson said.
 
The ACT composite score reflects sub-scores in English, math, reading, and science. For more information, visit ACT’s website at act.org.
 
Average Composite ACT Scores – South Dakota vs. National*
 
Year
South Dakota
National
2018
21.9
20.8
2019
21.6
20.7
2020
21.7
20.6
2021
21.6
20.3
2022
21.5
19.8
 
*Reflects all test-takers, from public and non-public schools, who graduated in 2022
 
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