Average ACT Score Jumps for High School Class of 2008

August 13, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia students heading to college are packing the highest ACT scores in five years. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced Wednesday that the composite ACT score has gone up from 20.5 in 2004 to 20.7 in 2008.


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. In 2008, more than 11,600 West Virginia students took the ACT.


“The upward trend in the state’s ACT composite score is encouraging and I am very proud of our students, teachers, principals and other school leaders,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “I expect to see even greater increases in the next year with the implementation of the new curriculum at the start of this school year.”


West Virginia was the second state in the nation to join the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, along with the West Virginia Board of Education, the WVDE, state legislators, educators and other community members signed a statement of support indicating their commitment to 21st century learning. In addition to core subjects, 21st century learning places a special emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, global awareness and business literacy. As part of the system-wide implementation of 21st century learning, the department has aligned its Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs) with 21st century skills and international rigor. The new CSOs take effect during the 2008–2009 school year.


The state ACT reading score showed a significant increase from 21.2 in 2007 to 21.4 in 2008. For the first time in five years, West Virginia’s reading score reached the national level.


The ACT English score remained steady at 20.8 in 2008. West Virginia’s English score is above the national English score of 20. 6. The science score remained steady as well at 20.5 in 2008.  The score in mathematics increased to 19.6 in 2008 from 19.5 in 2007.

“While I believe we are on the right path, I am concerned with the state’s mathematics ACT score,” Paine said. “The entire West Virginia school community – students, parents, teacher, administrators – have an obligation to improve our performance.”

For more information regarding the ACT Assessment, contact the West Virginia Department of Education Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.


Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.