JANS – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has released ACT results of all public high school juniors who took the test during the spring 2023 statewide administration. Mississippi is one of 16 states that administers the ACT for free to high school juniors. The average score for juniors was 17.5, an increase of the previous years’ scores of 17.4 in 2022 and 17.3 in 2021. The percentage of juniors meeting the benchmark scores for all four tested ACT subjects was 9.3%, which was the same percentage in 2022.
The average highest score among 2023 Mississippi public school graduates was 17.9, and their average superscore was 19.9. Superscores are generated when students take the ACT multiple times and a student’s best scores from each of the four tested ACT subjects – English, mathematics, reading, and science – are combined.
The national average ACT score for all public-school students in the class of 2023 was 19.1, down from 19.3 in 2022. ACT scores nationwide have dropped in recent years as the population of students taking the test has broadened.
The ACT is designed to predict how well students will perform in college, and colleges use standardized tests like the ACT to compare students across schools and states. ACT research shows students who take four or more years of English and three or more years each of math, social studies, and natural science typically outperform their peers who report taking fewer courses in these subjects. The MDE provides districts with two opportunities – ACT/SAT Prep I and ACT/SAT Prep II – to provide ACT preparation courses. In addition, school districts offer two specialized classes, the Essentials for College Literacy and the Essentials for College Math, as an option to help seniors who need to improve their ACT scores to qualify for early release.
Students who earn a grade of 80% or higher in these courses are entitled to enter credit-bearing college courses, without remediation, at all Mississippi public universities