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8th Graders Register Highest Scores Ever on ACT Explore

February 24, 1999

West Virginia eighth grade students achieved their highest scores ever on the 1998 ACT EXPLORE test given annually to over 22,000 students. The ACT EXPLORE has been administered since 1996 and tests students in English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. For the first time West Virginia students topped the national averages in English, reading, science and in the composite score.  

"This three year trend data shows a significant increase in student performance in this important test that is considered a precursor to the ACT," said State Superintendent Dr. Henry Marockie. "These results clearly indicate that West Virginia students can compete on a national level with their peers."  

The trend data reflect the following: in English, West Virginia students earned a 14.1 which is a .4 increase over three years and .1 higher than the national average. In mathematics, state students scored 14.1, a .5 increase over 1996 scores and just .2 below the national average.  

Reading scores were 14.0, a .4 increase and .4 above the national average. In science reasoning, West Virginia students earned their highest score, a 14.3, which represents a .2 growth in three years and .2 above the national average.  

The composite score for 1998 was 14.3, a .4 increase over the three years and .2 above the national average. Scale scores for the four tests and the composite range from a low of 1 to a high of 25.  

According to ACT, an increase of .1 is considered statistically significant.  

The ACT EXPLORE assesses academic progress and helps students understand and begin to explore career options. It also assists them in developing a high school coursework plan that prepares them to achieve their post-high school goals.

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