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ACT Scores Dip Even As It Gains Popularity

The Associated Press reported yesterday that ACT, Inc. released a report indicating that across the country this year’s Spring ACT scores fell from those in 2009.  “Last spring’s high-school seniors averaged a composite score of 21.0 on the test’s scale of 1 to 36, down slightly from 21.1 last year and the lowest score of the last five years. “

Apparently it wasn’t all bad news. Even though scores are falling, the report indicates that 24 percent of test-takers “met or all four of the test’s benchmarks measuring their preparedness for college English, reading, math and science.” If 24 percent seems like a low number, take heart. It is up from 23 percent last year.

While the report shows a rise in the number of students prepared for college-level biology (21 to 24 percent in five years), the number of students prepared for college English has dropped from 69 percent to 66. Perhaps even more upsetting is that 28 percent of students met NONE of the four college readiness benchmarks.

Regardless of the dip in scores, more and more students are opting to take the  ACT either instead of or in addition to the SAT.The gap has been whittled down to under 50,000, and the ACT has been gaining an average of 59,000 + students per year over the last 3 years.  A record 47 percent of high school graduates, 1.57 million students, took the ACT this year. The momentum is impressive.  The current trends predict that the ACT will be on top at the end of 2010, or at the very least, within several thousand students of surpassing the old patriarch.

On a brighter local note, Georgia’s ACT scores are inching up. The 44 percent of Georgia seniors who took the ACT this year bumped Georgia up from 40th to 34th in the national rankings. While the state’s average composite score of 20.7 is still below the national average at 21.0, it is up from 20.6 last year.

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