LITTLE ROCK — The percent of 2018 graduates in public and private schools who met all four ACT readiness benchmarks (English, math, reading and science) increased from 16 percent in 2017 to 17 percent in 2018. 

Science also experienced a slight increase in the percent of graduates meeting the benchmark, from 25 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2018. Reading (36 percent), math (27 percent) and English (53 percent) remained the same. The benchmarks represent the minimum score a student needs in a subject area to likely have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding college courses. 

According to the ACT profile report for the 2018 graduating class, 100 percent of the 2018 Arkansas graduating class (34,468 students) took the ACT test, with an average composite score of 19.4. This remained unchanged from 2017. This report reflects a graduating senior's most recent ACT score.

"This is the second year that results from the statewide administration of the ACT in the 11th grade are reflected in the graduating class report," Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. "Based on these results, we will continue to work with districts and communities to improve the delivery of education in Arkansas. With ongoing implementation of statewide programs such as R.I.S.E. Arkansas and the computer science initiative, we are confident that student performance on the ACT will increase across the state."

"As education moves forward in our state, I applaud the efforts of the Department of Education who has made the test available for all high school students," said Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Dr. Maria Markham." Just by taking the exam, many students are more aware of their options for education beyond high school. Arkansas higher education offers many different degrees, certificates and workplace skills that will only help to prepare the next generation for the labor market."

A total of 61.3 percent of 2018 Arkansas graduates who took the ACT two or more times had an average composite score of 21.2. This is an increase of 4.7 percent compared to graduates who took the test only once. 

To learn more about the report, please visit