PIERRE – South Dakota saw a significant increase in the percentage of graduating seniors who took the ACT in 2017, while the state’s average composite score remained above the national average and down slightly from 2016.

South Dakota’s average ACT score for 2017 was 21.8, compared to the national average of 21.0 and last year’s statewide average of 21.9.

The composite score reflects sub-scores for English, math, reading and science. In South Dakota, 80 percent of graduates took the ACT in 2017, compared to 76 percent in 2016. Nationally, 60 percent of 2017 graduates took the ACT, and of the six states that tested 70 to 90 percent of their students, South Dakota had the second-highest average ACT composite score.

“Four percent more of the 2017 graduating class took the ACT than their predecessors. That’s good news because it means more students are thinking about an education beyond high school, which is critically important when you consider today’s workforce demands,” said Secretary of Education Melody Schopp.

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Efforts such as career and technical education programs, career counseling, dual credit opportunities, and school and business partnerships support this connection between students and the world of work, she said.

For more information, visit ACT’s website at act.org.

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