Minnesota ACT scores highest in nation

by Taylor Nachtigal

For the ninth year in a row, Minnesota high school students have led the nation with top composite ACT scores, according to the Minnesota Department of Education

The average composite score for Minnesotans in the class of 2014 was 22.9, outscoring the national average of 21 on the 36-point college readiness assessment, according to ACT's Minnesota Profile Report.  

The test includes four benchmark categories — English, reading, mathematics and science. About 40 percent of Minnesota students met all four benchmarks, compared with 26 percent nationally, according to the report. 

In Minnesota, 76 percent of high school students took the test, compared with the national average of 57 percent, according to the report. 

Starting next year, all high school students must take the ACT in order to graduate, due to new graduation requirements passed by the 2013 Legislature. Additionally, the test will be free for all high school juniors, according to the Minnesota Department of Education. 

"Just as important as getting Minnesota students to enroll in a postsecondary institution, is moving them to completion," said Larry Pogemiller, the commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education in an email statement. "Have all high school students take the ACT will help them understand how well they are prepared for a postsecondary education that fits their needs and interests."