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Oklahoma ACT participation rate lowest since at least 2012

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For Oklahoma's high school class of 2021, participation in the ACT test was as low as it's been in at least a decade.

The pandemic and cost-saving measures combined to slash the number of students who participated.

Only 58 percent of Oklahoma's class of 2021 took the ACT.

That participation rate is easily the lowest in Oklahoma since 2012, the earliest year for which data was available.

Since 2017, the state has offered Oklahoma juniors the opportunity to take the test free of charge. But that was disrupted by the pandemic. And rather than move it to the fall, Oklahoma’s legislature decided to cut the $1.9 million program.

The lower participation rate did mean that test scores were higher than the previous four years, though. The average composite score climbed by one full point. At the same time, it fell nationally.

Oklahoma's students this fall won't have to worry, as they can take the ACT or the SAT for free thanks to federal relief funds disbursed by Oklahoma’s State Department of Education.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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