#053 ACT Data & the Story It Tells for Your Student

Show Notes


You may have heard in the news that ACT scores dipped to a 30-year low in 2022. This episode explores the implications of the ACT test: what it measures, what it means in terms of college entrance, and how even a less-than-ideal score can serve as a roadmap to help your student find where they are to where they want to be in the future.


You may have heard in the news that ACT scores dipped to a 30-year low in 2022. At the same time, many studies have shown that high school GPAs seem to have reached an all-time high as grade inflation continues to climb. What does this mean for your student, and how do you ensure they are properly equipped for the road ahead? My guest Rose Babbington currently works as the senior director for ACT state partnerships, and she has many insights to share that help simplify this often stressful and intimidating area of college readiness.

Even though the ACT gives an overall score as a metric to predict success during the first year of college, in reality, there are four separate areas contributing to the overall average, and these scores often give a more accurate assessment of what’s going on with your student’s high school achievement and future college success. ACT includes college readiness benchmark scores as well. High scores can show your student’s strengths, but consistently low scores don’t necessarily need to be a cause for dismay. In fact, they can serve as useful markers to create a successful strategy going forward. These may be identifying learning gaps in your child’s education where they may need extra support. Identifying these things early on are important ways to ensure success in college and beyond, and as it turns out, the ACT is an excellent, data-driven way to do just that.


  • Trends in ACT scores over the last 30 years
  • What impacts student ACT test scores
  • What ACT College Readiness Benchmarks measure and why they’re important
  • What students can do in the classroom that impacts ACT scores and college achievement

Meet Our Guest

Rose Babington serves as the Senior Director for ACT State Partnerships. In this role, she leads a team to ensure successful ACT, PreACT, and ACT WorkKeys administrations across the country and to support state partners in their college and career readiness initiatives. During her twelve years at ACT, Rose has worked closely with leaders and stakeholders in over 25 states. This includes support and professional development for educators in her home state, Ohio, where she resides with her husband and two-year-old daughter.

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Links mentioned in this episode

Episode #042: Will grade inflation hurt your teen?

Launch College & Career Clarity Course

ACT Website

Gradclass 2022


0:32: ACT scores for the class of 2020 reach a 30-year low

2:22: ACT data and its importance for students and families

11:27: High number of students not meeting college readiness benchmarks

12:18: Proponent of students starting early on the ACT test

13:03: ACT score report breaks down subject areas for improvement

14:13: The value of getting test booklets back for improvement

15:20: ACT test reflects a student’s performance on a single day.

Access the episode transcript here.