South Dakota’s ACT scores stay above the national average

October 13, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s average ACT composite score for 2021 was 21.6, compared to the national average of 20.3. The composite score reflects sub-scores across the subjects of English, math, reading and science. ACT is a commonly recognized college entrance exam.

Department of Education Secretary Tiffany Sanderson says despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, “South Dakota’s 2021 graduates stayed focused on their post-secondary goals, took the ACT in impressive numbers, and continued to earn good scores.”

Fifty-five percent of South Dakota’s 2021 graduating class took the ACT. Taking the test is voluntary in South Dakota, and the state has one of the higher participation rates where the test is voluntary.

Of states with 50% or more of graduates tested, South Dakota is tied with Minnesota for the highest average composite score.