Nearly 1/3 of ACT test-takers unready for college

Aug 23, 2013 by

Almost a third of this year’s high school graduates who took the ACT tests are not prepared for college-level writing, biology, algebra or social science classes, according to data the testing company released Wednesday.

The data reveal a downturn in overall student scores since 2009. Company officials attribute the slide to updated standards and more students taking the exams, in a growing high school trend – including many with no intention of attending two- or four-year colleges.

The company’s annual report also found a gap between students’ interests now and projected job opportunities when they graduate, adding to an unpromising outlook for the class of 2013.

“The readiness of students leaves a lot to be desired,” said Jon Erickson, president of the Iowa company’s education division.

The ACT reported that 31 percent of all high school graduates tested were not ready for any college coursework requiring English, science, math or reading skills. The other 69 percent of test takers met at least one of the four subject-area standards.

Just a quarter of this year’s high school graduates cleared the bar in all four subjects, demonstrating the skills they’ll need for college or a career, according to company data. The numbers are even worse for black high school graduates: Only 5 percent were deemed fully ready for life after high school.

The report’s findings suggest that many students will struggle when they arrive on campus or will be forced to take remedial courses to catch their peers.


The third installment of a three-part Chronicle series exploring why roughly the same number of black males in Oakland are about as likely to be killed each year as to graduate from high school ready for college.

via Nearly 1/3 of ACT test-takers unready for college – SFGate.

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