A little more than 65 percent of San Diego County high school seniors who took the ACT exam last year scored at or above the national average of 21, based on a scale of 1 to 36. The county’s overall score was 7.5 percentage points higher than the state’s.

Why this matters

Standardized tests taken by high school students, including the ACT, are used by colleges in deciding who to accept and for merit-based scholarship decisions.

The latest test results for the county show high school seniors in the San Dieguito, Poway and Carlsbad school districts performed the highest on the ACT, an exam used by colleges and universities on admissions decisions.

Seniors in the Sweetwater, Ramona and Escondido school districts were the lowest performers in the county.

The ACT has four sections — English, math, reading and science — and more than 9,800 high school seniors in the county took it last year. That’s about 24 percent of all high school seniors. The SAT, a standardized test also used in college admissions, had a higher turnout of about 43 percent.

The average score for the county in 2017 was similar to the previous year, increasing from 65.3 percent to 65.7 percent.

inewsource created a searchable database of ACT, SAT and AP test results for California high school seniors by school that allows students, parents, educators and others compare performance.


Five San Diego County schools with the highest ACT scores

  • Canyon Crest Academy (San Dieguito Union High School District) — 93.7%
  • Torrey Pines High (San Dieguito Union) — 90.64%
  • Sage Creek High (Carlsbad Unified School District) — 90%
  • Westview High (Poway Unified School District) — 88.8%
  • Del Norte High (Poway Unified) — 87.8%

Five San Diego County schools with the lowest ACT scores

  • King-Chavez Community High (San Diego Unified School District) — 5.6%
  • Gompers Preparatory Academy (San Diego Unified) — 7.3%
  • Hoover High (San Diego Unified) — 17.6%
  • e3 Civic High (San Diego Unified) — 18.2%
  • Lincoln High (San Diego Unified) — 20.6%

Note: Percentages show high school seniors who scored a composite score of 21 or higher on the four sections of the ACT during the 2016-17 school year.

We’ll let you know when big things happen.

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