W.Va. Students Top National Average on Pre-ACT Tests

June 12, 2006

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ West Virginia students entering high school this fall who later want to go to college are starting their secondary educations better prepared.  

Eighth grade students in the 2005-2006 school year scored above the national average overall on the ACT EXPLORE assessment. They also scored above average in English and math and at the national average in reading and science.  

The ACT EXPLORE is a companion assessment to the ACT college entrance exam and is given to eighth grade students across the country. It tests academic progress in English, math, reading and science and helps students begin to explore career options. It also assists them in deciding which courses they need to take in high school to achieve their goals.  

“West Virginia eighth-graders showed growth in all areas from the previous year,” said state Superintendent State Paine. “These scores represent the hard work and efforts of our highly qualified educators and students. Our focus on student achievement is paying off.”  

West Virginia eighth-graders saw their English scores increase from 14.2 percent in 2004 to 14.3 percent in 2005, while math increased from 14.2 percent to 14.5. Reading scores increased from 13.8 percent in 2004 to 13.9 percent, while science increased from 15.8 percent to 15.9 percent.  

High school sophomores who took the ACT PLAN, which tests students’ knowledge in English, math, reading and science, also saw scores improve. The ACT PLAN is a good predictor of how students will perform on the ACT, which 60 percent of all West Virginia students take as their college entrance and placement exam. Students take the ACT as either high school juniors or seniors.  

West Virginia 10th graders scored above the national average in all subjects. The average English score increased from 16.7 percent to 16.9 percent, marking the first time the average score increased since the test was first administered in 2002.  

The average math, science and reading scores also increased to their highest levels since 2002. Math jumped to 16.6 percent from 16.4 percent, while science scores increased from 17.7 percent to 17.8 percent. Reading increased from 16.5 percent to 16.7 percent. Overall, ACT PLAN scores increased from 17.0 to 17.1 percent.  

Contact Beth Cipoletti in the Office of Student Assessment Services at (304) 558-2546 for more information.

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