California ACT testing pass rates 2011-2016

The number of high school seniors taking the ACT exam in San Diego County has increased more than 25 percent over the past five years.

High school counselors have always encouraged students to take both the ACT and SAT tests before graduating from high school, county officials say. Yet, in 2016, there was a 9 percent increase in ACT tests taken compared to a .2 percent increase for the SAT.

[one_half][box type=”shadow this-matters”]inewsource created the only searchable databases in California to compare five years of AP, SAT and ACT test results by school.[/box][/one_half]

Overall, 10,162 high school seniors took ACT tests last year in the county. Of those, 65 percent earned a passing score of 21 or higher based on a 1 through 36 scale. The statewide average is 57 percent.

Like the SAT, ACT scores are used for college admission and scholarships. The main difference between the two tests is the ACT’s additional science section to test critical thinking.

State data shows 18,078 students in San Diego County took the SAT test last year and 49 percent passed.

Rachel Bronwyn, a teacher at Orange Glen High School in Escondido, said her students take both tests so they can submit the best score to colleges.

She said certain students, however, “tend to do better on the ACT because the ACT is linked to subject areas.”

As part of our ongoing reporting on state test score data, inewsource created a searchable database for parents, teachers and students to compare ACT test results, along with AP and SAT scores, for their school.

San Diego County schools with the highest percent of students meeting or exceeding a score of 21 on the ACT:

  • River Valley Charter (Lakeside Union Elementary School District) — 100%
  • Canyon Crest Academy (San Dieguito Union High School District) — 95.40%
  • Torrey Pines High (San Dieguito Union High) — 93.09%
  • Grossmont Middle College High (Grossmont Union High School District) — 91.67%
  • Del Norte High (Poway Unified School District) — 87.55%

San Diego County schools with the lowest percent of students meeting or exceeding a score of 21 on the ACT:

  • The O’Farrell Charter (San Diego Unified School District) — 22.89%
  • San Ysidro High (Sweetwater Union High School District) — 22.88%
  • San Diego Metro Career and Tech (San Diego Unified) — 20%
  • Crawford High (San Diego Unified) — 13.46%
  • Gompers Preparatory Academy (San Diego Unified) — 5.08%

inewsource reporter Brandon Quester contributed data analysis to this report.


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[two_third_last] State admits posting faulty schools data, promises revisions
The agency responsible for overseeing and analyzing public education data published AP results containing nearly 350,000 more tests than had actually been taken, throwing off pass rates across the state.[/two_third_last]

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[two_third_last]State launches new system to alert the public to test score updates
The state’s education department announced a new system to notify the public about data releases and updates to existing test score data on its website.[/two_third_last]

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[two_third_last]Search how your high school ranks on California AP tests
inewsource analyzed the AP test results from 2011-2016 to create a searchable database for parents, students and teachers to review a school’s performance.[/two_third_last]

Megan Wood was a multimedia journalist for inewsource. To contact inewsource with questions, tips or corrections, email