Change Indicator

High school graduates meeting ACT college benchmark scores, by subject area in North Dakota

High school graduates meeting ACT college benchmark scores, by subject area

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Why This Indicator Matters

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Definition and Source



The ACT program has developed benchmarks to measure what it takes to be successful in standard first-year college courses in the areas of English, math, reading, and science. This indicator represents the proportion of all ACT-tested public high school graduates who met these benchmarks in each subject area. A benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college courses, which include English Composition, Algebra, Social Science, and Biology.

To meet these benchmarks, students must score 18 or better on the English portion of the ACT, and 22 or better on the math portion. In 2013, the benchmark on the reading portion increased from 21 to 22, and decreased on the science portion of the ACT from 24 to 23. The highest possible score one can obtain is 36. 

Data Source

Data from 2019-present: North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Data from 1999-2018: ACT, Inc., Department of Program Evaluation and Institutional Research Services, Research Division.


NA - Starting in 2019, data is suppressed if the number of students taking the ACT (denominator) is less than 10. Additional suppression is applied if the percentage approached zero or 100 using ranges. Prior to 2019, data was suppressed if only one public high school was represented by the geography or when there were no ACT-tested students in the graduating class.  
GEOGRAPHY - Data reflect the location of the public high school, not the student's place of residence. DATE - Public high school graduating class of reference year. NOTE: A law passed by the 2009 North Dakota Legislative Assembly requires high school juniors to take the ACT or the WorkKeys assessment (i.e., a job skills assessment system measuring "real-world" skills that employers believe are critical to job success). The first test under the mandate was in April 2010, affecting the 2011 scores.

Last Updated

April 2024