Index: Education / Subcategory: K-12

ACT Scores

Date updated: 09/26/2012

Chart Directory:

Average ACT Scores for Colorado & Larimer County School Districts, 2002-03 to 2011-12

In 2000, Colorado State Law made participating in the American College Testing Program (ACT) mandatory for all 11th grade students. The first implementation of required testing was in 2001 for school year 2000-2001. According to the Colorado Department of Education, the purpose of 'Educational Reform related to Standards and Assessments' in Colorado is to institute an accountability system to define and measure academic quality in education and thus to help public schools of Colorado to achieve such quality and to expand the life opportunities and options of the students of this state. Further, a stated purpose is to provide to local school boards and local schools assistance in helping their patrons to determine the relative value of their school program as compared to its cost. 

Composite ACT scores are an average of the English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning portions of the test. The ACT test can be taken more than once, and potential scores range from 0 to 36. Prior to 2010-11, if a student refused to take the test or tests were disqualified for any reason, ACT still counted the student or the test result. In this case, a score of zero (0) was entered and averaged into the district scores. Beginning in 2010-11, students with invalid scores were excluded from the average calculation.

What this chart shows: Average Composite ACT Scores in Colorado and School Districts in Larimer County, 2002-03 to 2011-12

Data Source: Colorado Department of Education

See data table

Note: The ACT tests are administered in the spring of the school year.

What the above data tell us:

In general, from 2002-03 to 2011-12, Larimer County School Districts had higher ACT scores than the Colorado average. In the 2003-04 school year, Park School District scores decreased by four points, placing it below the Colorado average. The manner of administration of the test to special education students at Estes Park High School was rejected by ACT, which resulted in seven (7) zeros added to the Park School District composite score. Given the small number of students taking the test, this would account for a seemingly large decrease in the composite score.

NOTE: Prior to 2010-11, if a student refused to take the test or tests were disqualified for any reason, ACT still counted the student or the test result. In this case, a score of zero (0) was entered and averaged into the district scores. Beginning in 2010-11, students with invalid scores were excluded from the average calculation.

What this chart shows: Average ACT English Scores in Colorado and School Districts in Larimer County, 2002-03 to 2011-12

Data Source: Colorado Department of Education

See data table

What the above data tell us:

From 2002-03 through 2011-12, Poudre School District's scores averaged the highest at 20.3, followed by Park at 20.2 and Thompson at 19.0. Park School District showed the largest decline over the previous year, a 6.4% decrease.

Over the last 10 years, all 3 school districts have met the ACT benchmark English score of 18.0, with the exception in 2003-04 for Park School District.

NOTE: Prior to 2010-11, if a student refused to take the test or tests were disqualified for any reason, ACT still counted the student or the test result. In this case, a score of zero (0) was entered and averaged into the district scores. Beginning in 2010-11, students with invalid scores were excluded from the average calculation.

What this chart shows: Average Math ACT Scores for Colorado and School Districts in Larimer County, 2002-03 to 2011-12

Data Source: Colorado Department of Education

See data table

What the above data tell us:

Poudre School District students averaged the highest math ACT scores from 2002-03 through 2011-12 at 20.8, followed by Park at 20.6 and Thompson at 19.6.

Over the last 10 years, none of the Larimer County school districts met the ACT benchmark math score of 22.0.

NOTE: Prior to 2010-11, if a student refused to take the test or tests were disqualified for any reason, ACT still counted the student or the test result. In this case, a score of zero (0) was entered and averaged into the district scores. Beginning in 2010-11, students with invalid scores were excluded from the average calculation.

What this chart shows: Average Reading ACT Scores for Colorado and School Districts in Larimer County, 2002-03 to 2011-12

Data Source: Colorado Department of Education

See data table

What the above data tell us:

Poudre School District students met or exceeded the ACT benchmark reading score of 21.0 in 8 of the 10 years represented in the graph. Park School District students met the benchmark in 3 of the 10 years and Thompson School District students have consistently scored below the benchmark.

NOTE: Prior to 2010-11, if a student refused to take the test or tests were disqualified for any reason, ACT still counted the student or the test result. In this case, a score of zero (0) was entered and averaged into the district scores. Beginning in 2010-11, students with invalid scores were excluded from the average calculation.

What this Chart shows: Average Science Reasoning ACT Scores for Colorado and School Districts in Larimer County, 2002-03 to 2011-12

Data Source: Colorado Department of Education

See data table

What the above data tell us:

Poudre and Park School District students improved their science reasoning ACT scores slightly between 2010-11 and 2011-12, whereas Thompson School District students lost ground during this same period.

With the exception of Park School District's 2003-04 score and Thompson School District's 2006-07 score, all three districts in Larimer County scored higher on science reasoning than the state average. None of the Larimer County school districts, however, met the ACT science reasoning benchmark score of 24.0 in the past 10 years.

NOTE: Prior to 2010-11, if a student refused to take the test or tests were disqualified for any reason, ACT still counted the student or the test result. In this case, a score of zero (0) was entered and averaged into the district scores. Beginning in 2010-11, students with invalid scores were excluded from the average calculation.

Additional Information:

Universities use a combination of standardized testing score and grade point average (GPA) to determine student admission. For example, Colorado State University bases admission criteria on a combination of factors as a measure of overall academic performance. Applicant narratives and supporting documents are also considered, which may allow for admission by an applicant with lower scores. The written sections of the ACT and SAT are not used for admission or scholarship consideration.

Related Information on COMPASS-

Other Resources -

Standards or Target:

ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks [pdf]

'Act's College Readiness Benchmarks are the minimum ACT test scores required for students to have a high probability of success in credit-bearing college courses - English composition, social sciences courses, college algebra, or biology.'

Data Table:

Average Composite ACT Scores for Colorado & Larimer County School Districts

Colorado

Poudre

Thompson

Park

2002-03

19.0

20.1

19.6

22.1

2003-04

18.8

20.1

19.4

18.1

2004-05

19.0

20.6

19.3

20.3

2005-06

19.0

21.0

19.8

20.6

2006-07

19.1

20.5

19.2

20.4

2007-08

19.4

21.6

19.3

20.6

2008-09

19.6

21.5

20.2

20.4

2009-10

19.4

20.9

20.0

21.9

2010-11

19.9

21.6

20.4

22.3

2011-12

20.0

22.1

20.9

20.8

See chart

Average English ACT Scores for Colorado & Larimer County School Districts

Colorado

Poudre

Thompson

Park

ACT Benchmark

2002-03

18.1

19.1

18.5

21.6

18.0

2003-04

17.8

19.1

18.3

17.5

18.0

2004-05

18.2

19.9

18.6

19.7

18.0

2005-06

18.2

20.3

18.9

20.5

18.0

2006-07

18.3

19.7

18.3

19.8

18.0

2007-08

18.6

20.9

18.4

20.2

18.0

2008-09

18.6

20.8

19.3

19.6

18.0

2009-10

18.6

20.3

19.4

21.0

18.0

2010-11

19.0

20.9

19.8

21.9

18.0

2011-12

19.4

22.0

20.6

20.5

18.0

See chart

Average Math ACT Scores for Colorado & Larimer County School Districts

Colorado

Poudre

Thompson

Park

ACT Benchmark

2002-03

18.9

20.1

19.5

21.6

22.0

2003-04

18.8

20.2

19.1

18.7

22.0

2004-05

18.6

20.3

18.8

19.9

22.0

2005-06

18.9

20.8

19.5

20.3

22.0

2006-07

19.2

20.7

19.3

20.8

22.0

2007-08

19.3

21.3

19.1

20.7

22.0

2008-09

19.5

21.1

20.0

20.5

22.0

2009-10

19.3

20.5

19.8

21.5

22.0

2010-11

20.0

21.5

20.2

21.3

22.0

2011-12

20.1

21.9

20.8

20.8

22.0

See chart

Average Reading ACT Scores for Colorado & Larimer County School Districts

Colorado

Poudre

Thompson

Park

ACT Benchmark

2002-03

19.3

20.4

20.1

22.8

21.0

2003-04

19.1

20.8

20.0

18.1

21.0

2004-05

19.4

21.3

19.8

20.7

21.0

2005-06

19.4

21.6

20.4

20.9

21.0

2006-07

19.4

21.0

19.9

20.1

21.0

2007-08

19.6

22.2

19.7

20.8

21.0

2008-09

20.1

21.3

20.7

20.6

21.0

2009-10

19.6

21.4

20.2

23.0

21.0

2010-11

19.9

21.9

20.6

23.0

21.0

2011-12

19.8

22.2

20.9

20.7

21.0

See chart

Average Science ACT Scores for Colorado & Larimer County School Districts

Colorado

Poudre

Thompson

Park

ACT Benchmark

2002-03

19.2

20.1

19.9

21.8

24.0

2003-04

18.8

19.9

19.5

18.0

24.0

2004-05

19.2

20.4

19.6

20.4

24.0

2005-06

19.1

20.8

19.7

20.3

24.0

2006-07

19.1

20.2

19.0

20.3

24.0

2007-08

19.6

21.5

19.7

20.4

24.0

2008-09

19.8

21.3

20.2

20.2

24.0

2009-10

19.6

20.9

20.0

21.5

24.0

2010-11

20.2

21.7

20.6

22.3

24.0

2011-12

20.1

21.9

20.9

20.7

24.0

See chart