The Widening Racial Gap in ACT Scores

In 2011, 223,000 African American high school seniors took the American College Testing Program's ACT college entrance examination. This is an increase of 47 percent from 2007.

The ACT test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. For blacks the average ACT test score in 2011 was 17.0. While there was a slight improvement from last year’s average score of 16.9, this year’s score is exactly the same average score that black students achieved in 2007.

For whites the average ACT score in 2007 was 22.6. By 2011 the average white score had improved a full point to 23.6. Thus, while whites are showing improvement, blacks are not and the racial gap in ACT scores is increasing.