OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – According to a report released Wednesday, the national average ACT composite test score for the class of 2022 was the lowest the country has seen in three decades. 

“That’s huge,” said Zack Robinson, the CEO and founder of Test Geek, an ACT and SAT prep service. “It’s not surprising though.” 

The report showed the average score was 19.8. According to the Associated Press, this marks the first time since 1991 the country’s average was below 20. 

“This is the lowest score that we’ve seen in over 30 years,” said Rose Babington, the ACT Senior Director for State Partnerships. “That really speaks to challenges in terms of where we want students to be and where they’re not currently.”

Robinson added that historically, the average has been between a 20.6 and a 20.8.

“So, it’s meaningful for sure that that’s dropped,” said Robinson. 

Colleges use the test to gauge students’ math, reading, science and English abilities. Here in Oklahoma, last year’s graduates averaged a 17.9 score, the third lowest in the country according to the report. 

It’s important to note that not every state primarily uses the ACT, so the number of students tested from each state can range from 100 percent to just two percent. In Oklahoma, 94 percent of graduates were estimated to be tested. 

However, the report is more evidence that the pandemic has a huge impact on learning across the country. 

“We’re aware of the trend and I think it just further illustrates the need for continued support that we’ve known all along that recovery is going to take some time,” said Bryan Koerner, the Deputy Superintendent of Assessments, Accountability, Data Systems and Research at the State Department of Education. 

“One thing that we’ve heard consistently from parents is that their kids didn’t learn much during COVID. Some blame it on remote learning, some blame it on distractions from COVID,” added Robinson. 

As Babington pointed out, the silver lining to the report is that a significant number of Oklahoma graduates were tested. 

“Every single student has this chance to get a college reportable score and send their scores for free to colleges and use those insights of that data with their families and their teachers and their counselors to talk about the gaps,” said Babington. “That opportunity is one of the things that I think is really promising even in light of the score decline. Oklahoma is so well equipped with this great data, not just this year, but over the course of the last several years.”