Students at Jackson Hole High School notched the highest ACT scores in the state last year.
Wyoming Department of Education data shows the 180 students averaged a 21.9 composite score, edging out several schools, including Pinedale High School, whose students averaged a 21.8. All juniors in Wyoming are required to take the ACT, a college entrance exam akin to the SAT.
“It’s representative of our community in our school district,” Superintendent Gillian Chapman said, “and they’re doing really well.”
Wyoming is one of 12 states that require students to take the ACT, which can skew the scores lower because in states where it is optional, motivated students willing to put the time in to study are more likely to take the test. But requiring students to take it can give them more options, instead of leaving them wishing they had taken the test once it is too late, Chapman said.
“Kids are mercurial,” Chapman said. “They’re going to change their minds.”
According to Magoosh, which runs test prep classes, the national average is around 21, and students who score better than that stand a good chance of attending a college they want, while high-level institutions require scores of 30 or even 33.
For a district that requires all juniors to take the test, regardless of college ambitions, scoring above the average districtwide is noteworthy.
“We have a lot to celebrate in that area,” Chapman said. “It sets them up for whatever it is they are interested in doing after school.”