ACT Class of 2023(FRANKFORT, KY) – Kentucky students in the class of 2023 improved their overall average score on the ACT, according to data released Oct. 11.

The statewide average composite score was 18.7, marking an improvement from 18.6 in 2022. A total of 54 Kentucky students achieved a perfect score of 36.

Kentucky also expanded the number of students taking the ACT in 2023: 50,429 students – 100% of the graduating class – took the exam, a 4.5% increase from 2022.

“Kentucky has achieved a rare feat: expanding the number of students who take the ACT while also increasing scores from last year,” said Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Kinney. “The hard work of our students and educators shows up in many ways, and it’s important to celebrate accomplishments like this when we earn them.”

Kentucky stood out among the eight states that test 100% of their state’s graduates. Kentucky’s average composite score of 18.7, which ranked it second behind Wyoming, a state with 87% fewer students tested than Kentucky.

Average Composite Scores Among States Testing 100% of Graduates

StateNumber testedAverage composite score% Meeting English benchmark% Meeting math benchmark% Meeting reading benchmark% Meeting science benchmark

The ACT is administered to Kentucky high school juniors as part of state testing. For the class of 2023, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) provided a free retake day during the fall of their senior year.

A majority of students, 63.4%, took the ACT multiple times, resulting in an average composite score of 20.1. The number of students who retook the ACT test in Kentucky rose from 22,847 in 2022 to 31,996 in 2023.

KDE earned the 2023 ACT Equity and Access Award for its efforts to expand testing, including the optional senior testing window offered in fall 2022. The senior testing window will be offered again in fall 2023.

Other efforts ACT recognized Kentucky for as part of the 2023 ACT Equity and Access Award include:

  • 1,000 students tested for the first time in fall 2022 who had been unable to participate in spring state testing. These students were more likely to identify as African American or Hispanic compared to all that participated;
  • 72% of all students increased their superscore, which is the combination of the highest scores from a student who took the ACT multiple times; and
  • 90% improved at least one subject score.

ACT offers fee waivers to cover the cost of testing for students who meet certain indicators of economic need. Other benefits included in the ACT Fee Waiver Program include free learning resources, free score reports and a Test Information Release that allows a student to see their test questions and answers after their test. In Kentucky, students took 3,272 ACT tests using a fee waiver.

Average Kentucky ACT Scores