While the state of Tennessee reported record high scores on the ACT this year, Cheatham County students’ scores went down slightly.

The state went from an average composite of 20.1 in 2017 to an average composite of 20.2 this year, according to a release from the Tennessee Department of Education. Meanwhile, Cheatham County’s average composite scores went from 19.7 to 19.6, according to TDE data.

“We have work to do and we know that,” schools spokesperson Tim Adkins said. “We’re fully committed to improving our ACT scores.”

Cheatham County Central High School students’ scores decreased from an average composite of 18.9 last year to 18.4 this year, according to CCS data. Harpeth High School students’ scores also decreased, from an average composite of 21 last year to 20.8 this year, according to the data.

Sycamore High School students’ composite scores improved from an average of 19.5 to an average of 19.7.

Students at all Cheatham County high schools are required to take the assessment their junior year, Adkins said. Teachers prepare students for the test through incorporating material during class and administering practice ACT tests, he said.

Last year, the Chamber of Commerce partnered with a college admission counseling program called Class 101 Nashville for an additional program called “ACT Bootcamp.” Eighteen students took the class in the fall and 34 in the spring, Adkins said.

“We need to make sure that what we’re teaching is going to help students be successful when they take the test,” Adkins said. “Cheatham County is working to improve its curriculum to help prepare students to be college and career ready.”

Tennessee’s scores reported by the state are different than those reported by the national ACT organization because those groups use different measures in reporting, according to the TDE release. TDE uses a student’s best score, meaning that if a student took the test multiple times, the score included in these results is his or her highest score. National scores are based only on the most recent score a student received, regardless of if it was highest. Those scores also include private school results.


The average composite scores for the state and some Middle Tennessee counties in the past two years (only public school scores are counted):


2017: 20.1

2018: 20.2


2017: 19.7

2018: 19.6


2017: 19.9

2018: 19.7


2017: 19

2018: 18.9


2017: 20.2

2018: 20.4


2017: 19.9

2018: 19.9


2017: 25.2

2018: 25.4

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