The average composite score for North Dakotans taking the ACT has gone down since 2015 and is lower than the nation average.

North Dakota's average composite score has fallen to 20.3 in 2016. This is lower than the national average at 20.8 and even lower than the North Dakota average in 2015 at 20.6. The state's statistics are based on the 7,379 students that took the ACT this year, which is an increase of 272 students in 2015.

Just 22% of students taking the exam reached the college-prepared benchmark in the four core subjects, which are reading, math, science, and English. Any student reaching three or more benchmarks is considered being ready for college course work.

This year, across the country, 2.1 million students took the ACT, which is up from 1.9 million last year. 20 states funded ACT testing for all public school students that graduated in 2016, with North Dakota being one of them.