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Students Don't Let Pandemic Challenges Sink ACT Scores

This week, we’re sharing some key findings from a recent report about the challenges high school students experienced during the first 12 months of the pandemic, from April 2020-April 2021.

ACT’s new report found that experiencing challenges was not statistically related to lower ACT test scores, although bullying, cyberbullying, discrimination, and family problems were noticeably detrimental to academic performance and graduation.

The full report gives additional detail about the hurdles students are facing and which students are most likely to face them. It is important to note that students were able to overcome many of their challenges without losing ground academically.

Although this finding speaks to the resilience of today’s young people, ACT believes it should not shift focus from the criticality of addressing and removing unfair and often discriminatory hurdles for students from underserved populations. In addition to academic support, communities must provide social and emotional skill development to equip students with important classroom and workplace abilities such as persistence, dependability, and collaboration.

These efforts further advance equity and success for all students, and as the nation begins returning to some normality, ACT stands ready to provide insights to and thought partnership with the education leaders to be a voice for students and, together, find solutions that help students succeed at school, at work, and in life.