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South Dakota ACT scores above national average

A graduate in cap and gown hugging his father.

December 2, 2021

South Dakota students continued to score above the national average in its ACT composite score for 2021, according to information recently released by the state’s Department of Education.

South Dakota’s Average ACT composite score, which reflects sub-scores in English, math, reading, and science, for 2021 was 21.6 compared to the national average of 20.3. South Dakota’s 2021 scores did dip slightly from 2020 when students scored 21.7.

For the past five years, South Dakota students have scored consistently scored above the national average score.

In the announcement, South Dakota Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson said, “It goes without saying how challenging the 2020-21 school year was, as schools and student navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, South Dakota’s 2021 graduates stayed focused on their postsecondary goals, took the ACT in impressive numbers, and continued to earn good scores.”

According to the Department of Education, South Dakota has one of the higher participation rates where the ACT test is voluntary, with 55 percent of the 2021 graduating class taking the test.