Wyoming high school students who graduated in 2014 did slightly better on the ACT, on average, than those who graduated last year. Performance results released Wednesday by the Wyoming Department of Education show an average ACT score of 20.1 for this year’s test-takers, compared to 19.8 in 2013.
Wyoming’s average composite ACT score remains below the national average of 21. Wyoming’s scores ticked up as the number of students in the state taking the test rose substantially. That’s because, as of last year, Wyoming requires nearly all high school juniors to take the test for accountability purposes.
Deb Lindsey is director of assessment for the Wyoming Department of Education. She says, in many states, only college-bound students take the test.
“The national average is not just comprised of states like Wyoming and Colorado and Kentucky where nearly all students participated in the assessment,” said Lindsey. “When you compare to other states that might have a participation rate of 20 or 30 percent—that is only students who intend to go to college and use those scores for college entrance participate in the assessment—you’re not exactly comparing apples to oranges.”
The ACT measures college readiness in four content areas: English, math, reading and science. This year, Wyoming saw an increase in proficiency in all four.