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West Virginia Students Outpace Nation in English and Reading on ACT Exam

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August 24, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia students outperformed the nation in English and reading according to data released Wednesday by ACT. 2016 ACT scores also show graduates are holding steady with students across the nation in science. West Virginia’s composite score on the college entrance exam decreased slightly from 20.8 in 2015 to 20.7 in 2016, following the national trend which dropped from 21.0 in 2015 to 20.8 in 2016.

Across the state, 11,682 students took the ACT which was an increase of nearly 400 students when compared to 2015. Of the state’s graduating class, 64 percent took the ACT at least once, up from 59% in 2015.

The state 2016 ACT average English score was 20.5; math, 19.6; reading, 21.5; and science, 20.7.

The ACT college readiness benchmarks are scores used to indicate a student has at least a 50 percent chance of getting a grade of B or higher in first-year college courses. Sixty-seven percent of West Virginia students scored at levels indicating they were ready for freshman English courses, compared to 61 percent of students nationwide. In reading, 46 percent of state test-takers were ready for freshman courses, ranking above the national percentage of 44. Thirty-two percent of West Virginia students were college ready in math, compared to 41 percent nationally. In science, 33 percent of West Virginia students were ready, compared to a national average of 36 percent.

“I am pleased that the percent of West Virginia students meeting readiness benchmarks exceeded national averages in English and reading, but recognize we still have work to do to ensure our high-school graduates are equipped with the skills needed for college and careers,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano.

Also noteworthy, 95 percent of West Virginia’s 2016 tested students indicated that they aspired to postsecondary education.

“I am encouraged that so many of our graduates indicated they planned for postsecondary education,” Martirano said. “It is our job to ensure those students have the opportunity and are prepared to do so.”

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 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.

West Virginia’s complete report can be found by visiting: http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/P_49_499999_S_S_N00_ACT-GCPR_West_Virginia.pdf

For additional information, contact Kristin Anderson at the WVDE Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.

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