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TDOE says ACT testing and participating rates stay stable despite pandemic

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Education said that 62,564 graduates took the ACT, with a state average composite score of 19.9.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Students in Tennessee faced several new challenges this semester, as many moved to online learning and schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the new challenges, officials with the Tennessee Department of Education said that participation rates and scores in the ACT remained relatively stable despite the new challenges. They said that 62,564 graduates took the ACT from the 2020 graduating class.

The state average composite ACT score for the 2019-2020 school year was also 19.9, also relatively stable compared with the average composite score for the graduating class — 20.0.

“Despite so many changes and challenges during 2019-20 school year, we are incredibly proud to report the state’s ACT participation rate held steady for 2020 graduates. This did not happen by accident,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

In total, officials said that 97% of graduates took the ACT in 2020. That number is down 1% from the previous year. They also said that 27 districts reported 100% participation rates for the test.

Compared to the graduating class of 2019, the average ACT score for the public school graduating class of 2020 in each subject area was:

  • 19.5 in English, 0.1 decrease
  • 19.2 in math, 0.2 decrease
  • 20.5 in reading, equal to 2019
  • 19.9 in science, 0.1 decrease

However, officials also aid that the amount of students who scored a 21 or higher has declined in recent years. The amount of students meeting college readiness benchmarks has also fallen slightly in recent years, except for scores in English.