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Tennessee Students’ ACT Scores Show Incremental Increase for Second Consecutive Year

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | 02:33am

NASHVILLE— Tennessee public high school graduates slightly improved their performance on the ACT test in 2013, earning an average score of 19.3 out of 36, up from 19.2 in 2012, according to state-by-state results released by ACT today. This marks the second year the average ACT score for Tennessee students has increased, from 19.0 in 2011.               

Tennessee is one of only nine states to require all high school students take the ACT. Statewide scores help the Tennessee Department of Education measure the state’s progress towards its goal of greater college and career readiness for all students.

The percentage of test-takers meeting all of the ACT’s college readiness benchmarks rose from 14 percent to 15 percent in Tennessee as scores increased in 2013.

“While small incremental gains are positive, we must work toward larger growth for Tennessee students,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “Far too many students in our state graduate without the knowledge they need for college or the job market. We are implementing education reforms designed to address these deficiencies and drive continuous improvement.”

In Tennessee, 56 percent of graduates met ACT benchmarks in English, 27 percent in math, 33 percent in reading and 24 percent in science.

As in previous years, 2013 scores highlight the necessity for Tennessee to increase college readiness among certain racial minorities. Only 3 percent of black students and 10 percent of Hispanic students met college benchmarks in all four core subjects, compared to 19 percent of white students and 31 percent of Asian students.

In Tennessee, 95 percent of students took the standard duration test while 5 percent took the extended duration test. As of the 2012-13 data release, ACT will now report scores from both categories in reporting the state’s average composite score. This is a change from previous years; historically, ACT has calculated scores for standard time test takers only.

“Starting with the graduating class of 2013, results from the ACT-approved accommodated administrations that result in college-reportable ACT scores will be included as part of the ACT summary reports,” their report states.

Because the state strives to raise standards for all students, the composite score of 19—which includes standard and extended-time test takers will be the state’s new baseline moving forward.

Through the implementation of the Common Core State Standards targeted at developing the skills needed for college and the workplace, the state strives to better prepare students and continue to improve Tennessee’s ACT results.

For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or

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