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For the third year in a row, Georgia students surpass national average on ACT

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 463-4246,

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School-Level ACT results: Excel | PDF

District-Level ACT results: Excel | PDF

October 17, 2018 – Georgia’s students continued to outpace the nation on the ACT in 2018. 

Georgia’s average composite score of 21.4 held steady from 2017 to 2018 but was higher, for the third consecutive year and the third time in state history, than the national average of 20.8. Georgia also outperformed the nation in English, reading, science, and mathematics:




English: 20.2

English: 20.9

Mathematics: 20.5

Mathematics: 20.7

Reading: 21.3

Reading: 22.1

Science: 20.7

Science: 21.2

Composite: 20.8

Composite: 21.4

Overall, Georgia ranked 24th in the nation on the ACT.

“For the third time and the third year in a row, Georgia’s students have outperformed the national average on the ACT – that’s a testament to the hard work of our students and educators,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “As we continue to expand the opportunities available to our students – rather than restricting them in the name of test preparation – I believe we’ll continue to see success.”

The percentage of Georgia students meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks – which predict students’ success in college – also surpassed the national average in three of four subject areas. Sixty-five percent of Georgia students met the benchmark in English compared to 60 percent nationally. In reading, 49 percent of Georgia students met the benchmark compared to 46 percent nationally, and in science, 38 percent of Georgia students met the benchmark compared to 36 percent nationally.

In mathematics, Georgia students matched the national average with 40 percent meeting the benchmark.

College Readiness Benchmarks are scores on the ACT subject-area tests that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50-percent chance of obtaining a B or higher, or about a 75-percent chance of obtaining a C or higher, in corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses.     

2018 ACT results also brought positive news in the area of equity, as students in Georgia’s two largest minority groups significantly outperformed their counterparts nationally. The average composite score for black/African American students in Georgia was 18.0, compared to 16.9 nationally. For Hispanic/Latino students in Georgia, the average composite score was 20.4, compared to 18.8 nationally.