MN retains top spot in ACT college entrance exam

  • Associated Press
  • August 20, 2014 - 10:50 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota retains its top spot among states on the ACT college entrance exam.

The state's high school seniors scored 22.9 out of a possible 36 on the ACT, ranking Minnesota first among 27 states in which at least half of graduates took the exam. This is the ninth straight year that Minnesota students topped the list.

"I congratulate Minnesota students, teachers and administrators on this tremendous accomplishment," Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement. "These nation-leading scores demonstrate to the entire country the academic ability of Minnesota students, the dedication of our teachers and the world-class quality of our education system."

More than 75 percent of the state's high school graduates took the ACT during the 2013-2014 school year.

State graduates also finished first in the percentage of students considered college-ready in each of the four subject areas tested — English, math, science and reading. Nearly 40 percent of state graduates tested as proficient on the ACT exam.

The Star Tribune conducted a survey earlier this year that determined more than 20 of the state's high school students received perfect scores.

The state hopes to close the gap between white and minority test takers. The gaps between the minimum college-readiness of white and black students remained the same, while they widened between white and Asian, Hispanic and Native American students.

This academic year, all Minnesota high school juniors will begin taking the ACT under new graduation requirements approved by the Legislature last year.

"Having all high school students take the ACT will help them understand how well they are prepared for a post-secondary education that fits their needs and interests," said Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the state Office of Higher Education.

Wisconsin scored second on the ACT this year with 22.2 out of a possible 36. About 73 percent of Wisconsin high school graduates took the ACT.

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