Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

National Average on ACT College Test Down Slightly

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

National Average on ACT College Test Down Slightly

Article excerpt

Scores dipped for the high school class of 2002 on the ACT college entrance exam, breaking a five-year streak during which results remained unchanged, the test-maker announced last month.

ACT Inc., a nonprofit based in Iowa City, Iowa, said the drop was to be expected because Illinois and Colorado began requiring that all high school juniors, starting with the class of '02, take the test whether or not they are enrolled in college-prep courses.

Using scores students received on the latest ACT they took, 2002 graduates averaged a composite of 20.8, down from the 21 average maintained from 1997 to 2001.

More students than ever took the ACT, 1.12 million of this year's graduates, or about 46,000 more than last year.

This year's results are the first since Illinois and Colorado began assessing their public schools by having all 11th graders take the ACT at state expense, even if they don't plan on attending college.

Richard Ferguson, chief executive of ACT, said in a statement that the requirement had a positive result: "Thousands of students in Illinois and Colorado who had not indicated an interest in attending college were identified as ready for college coursework. …

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