CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The graduating class of 2010 will step onto college campuses this fall ready to learn. The West Virginia Department of Education released on Wednesday the latest statewide ACT scores.
Of the more than 11,500 West Virginia students who took the ACT in 2010, 71 percent were ready for freshman level English courses compared to 66 percent of students nationwide. Fifty-four percent of state test-takers were ready for freshman level reading courses, ranking above the national percentage of 52. The number of state students taking the ACT ready for freshman level math courses increased from 30 percent in 2009 to 32 percent in 2010. The percent of students ready for freshman level science courses decreased one percentage point from 25 in 2009 to 24 in 2010. Eighteen percent of West Virginia students tested met or surpassed all four of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, up from 17 percent in 2009.
“The trend in the state’s ACT data is encouraging and I am very proud of our students, teachers, principals and other school leaders,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Even though there are students who did not meet the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, these findings suggest we are starting to get more kids over the readiness threshold.”
The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test made up of four separate exams in English, reading, mathematics and science, plus an optional writing test. The ACT is scored on a scale of one to 36. The test is administered in all 50 states and is the predominant college entrance exam in 25 states, including West Virginia. ACT also assesses a student’s ability to succeed in college.
ACT has developed research-based College Readiness Benchmark scores that predict students’ college or career readiness. Researchers at ACT found that students scoring at the ACT Benchmark Scores have a 50 percent chance of getting a B or a 75 percent chance of a C in freshman English, biology, college algebra and/or social science courses.
“West Virginia has seen steady growth on the ACT but we know we must do better,” Paine said. “We are cautiously optimistic that as the 21st century curriculum of Global21 sets its roots in classrooms across the state, our student improvement will grow further.”
The average composite score of all West Virginia students who took the ACT in 2010 remained the same at 20.7. At the same time, the nation’s composite score dropped from 21.1 to 21. The state 2010 ACT average English score of 20.7 ranked above the national average of 20.5. The state average science score increased to 20.6, one point higher than the 2009 score, while the nation’s science average remained the same at 20.9. The West Virginia average score in mathematics remained at 19.6 in 2010. The state ACT average reading score is the same as the national score of 21.3.
For more information regarding the ACT assessment, contact the West Virginia Department of Education's Communications Office at (304) 558-2699
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