South Carolina students achieve moderate gains on ACT

October 12, 2022

The ACT® has released 2022 assessment data for South Carolina high school students who took the ACT test. South Carolina public school students saw a moderate increase in the average composite score, from 18.3 in 2021 to 18.5 in 2022. The national average ACT Composite score for the high school class of 2022 was 19.8, the lowest average score in more than three decades, according to data released today by ACT, the nonprofit organization that administers the college readiness exam.

The ACT report represents 18,800 South Carolina public school students who took the ACT test, which is not required but is paid for by the state. Students were able to test either during a designated school day or on a Saturday national test date.

“The moderate gains we see with the ACT are consistent with other assessment results we have seen this year,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “We are encouraged by growth but know there’s more work to be done. Our focus is on continued growth and bridging the achievement gaps, so that moderate gains can become sustained and significant progress for South Carolina students.”

In South Carolina and in the nation, taking the proper coursework in high school dramatically increases a student’s likelihood of success on the ACT. Retesting is also likely to increase scores, ACT reports. The average score for single-tested students is 17.6 for public school students, while the average score for retested students is 22.4 (public).

Additional Trends and Observations:

  • The total number of scores sent to colleges by 2022 South Carolina graduates at the time of their most recent test was 25,108.
  • The top planned education majors include health sciences, business, biological & physical sciences, and engineering.
  • As part of South Carolina statewide testing in spring 2022, 14,652 juniors tested, an increase of over 1,300 students from spring 2021.

ACT and other assessment data can be found online at