Average ACT score for Oklahoma, nation for 2009 unchanged from 2008; State Superintendent says more rigor, four years of core will improve college readiness

The average ACT college-entrance exam score for Oklahoma and the nation remained unchanged for 2009 from 2008. Although Oklahoma posted gains in math and science in 2009, its average composite score remains 20.7; the nation's average score is still 21.1. During the last five years, Oklahoma has improved its composite score by 0.3; the nation's has improved by 0.2. The ACT is graded on a scale from 0-36.

Oklahoma's average science score for 2009 increased to 20.5 from 20.4 and it improved to 19.9 from 19.8 in math. Nationally, science improved by the same margin but national math performance was flat in 2009.

Average ACT Test Scores GraphicOklahoma's reading and English scores remained the same from the previous year - as they did nationally. Oklahoma's reading score (21.4) equals the national average and its English score (20.5) is just one-tenth of a point from the national average (20.6). This is noteworthy because participation rates impact large-scale assessment scores. A much higher percentage of students in Oklahoma’s Class of 2009 took the ACT (71 percent) as compared to the national average (45 percent).

State Superintendent Sandy Garrett said Oklahoma’s ACT results are in line with the state’s high school End-of-Instruction (EOI) scores and both highlight important facts about college readiness.

“College remediation rates are based on ACT scores and ACT scores mirror our EOI scores,” Garrett said. “What these scores tell us is that rigor is lacking in some schools and too many students are not making the most of the four years they are given in high school. In 2009, completion of four years of rigorous core courses is a prerequisite to college- and work readiness.”


Students taking advantage of every academic opportunity while still in high school makes more economic sense for parents, she added. If high school students fail to get enough core instruction and need college remediation, their parents will have to pay for zero credit, college remediation courses.

She encouraged parents and school leaders to consider enrollment patterns in core subjects, and to compare grades given in core courses to their high schools’ average ACT and EOI scores in the same subjects. “The data is there for parents and school and community leaders to use in guiding local school improvement,” Garrett said. “We will continue to demand more rigor in math and science in all grades, but the biggest hurdle is convincing parents and students of the importance - and logic - of enrolling in four years of core subjects.”

There were 482 public Oklahoma high schools that had at least one student from the Class of 2009 take the ACT. Of those who tested at least five students*, the top 15 Oklahoma high schools by ACT composite score, with the number of students from their Class of 2009 who took the exam in parentheses, are:

  1. Oklahoma School of Science and Math**                                  (60)                31.9
  2. Classen School of Advanced Studies, OKC                               (108)               24.5
  3. Edmond North High School                                                     (381)               23.7
  4. Edmond Memorial High School                                                (369)               23.6
  5. Jenks High School                                                                  (542)               23.6
  6. Norman North High School                                                     (284)               23.5
  7. Okarche High School                                                               (20)                23.4
  8. Stillwater High School                                                             (264)               23.3
  9. Boise City High School                                                             (11)                23.2
  10. Edmond Santa Fe High School                                                 (327)               23.2
  11. Norman High School                                                               (279)               23.2
  12. Deer Creek High School                                                          (158)                23
  13. Tulsa School of Arts & Sciences                                               (44)                23
  14. Shattuck Junior-Senior High School                                           (10)                22.9
  15. Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa                                 (270)               22.8

*Due to the federal student privacy laws, scores are only published for high schools that had at least five students take the exam. Click here for a database of these schools.

**Oklahoma School of Science and Math is a public boarding school in Oklahoma City for advanced juniors and seniors from across the state.

Last updated on August 22, 2012