Minnesota retains top spot in ACT entrance exam

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ST. PAUL — Minnesota retained its top spot among states on the ACT college entrance exam.

High school seniors scored 22.9 out of a possible 36 on the ACT, ranking the state first among states in which at least half of graduates took the exam. It’s the ninth straight year that Minnesota students topped the list.

State graduates also finished first in the percentage of students considered college-ready in each of the four subject areas tested — English, math, science and reading. This year, 39 percent of state graduates tested as proficient on the ACT exam.

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“I congratulate Minnesota students, teachers and administrators on this tremendous accomplishment,” said Gov. Mark Dayton. “These nation-leading scores demonstrate to the entire country the academic ability of Minnesota students, the dedication of our teachers and the world-class quality of our education system.”

The data come from ACT’s yearly report, “The Condition of College and Career Readiness.” This year’s report shows that for Minnesota’s class of 2014, 45,305 students — or 76 percent — took the ACT. This number is up 2 percent from 2010. Nationwide, 1.8 million students — or 57 percent — took the ACT last year.

According to the report, 91 percent of students who took the ACT indicated that they aspired to some form of post-secondary education. Also, 9 percent of the students who were tested would be the first in their family to attend post-secondary.

This academic year, all Minnesota high school juniors will begin taking the ACT free of charge under new graduation requirements approved by the Legislature last year.

Wisconsin scored second on the ACT this year with 22.2 out of a possible 36.