ACT: College hopes rise, scores fall

Most students aren’t ready for college, according to the latest ACT college readiness report. The composite score dropped to 20.9 in 2013, the lowest in eight years. That’s probably because more students — including less-capable students — are taking the exam.

Only 26 percent of test-takers in the class of 13 met all four readiness benchmarks in English (grammar, sentence structure, organization, rhetorical skills), reading, science and math; 39 percent met three of the four and nearly one-third did not meet any.

Twelve states are testing more than 90 percent of seniors, including students who don’t plan to go to college. Also, for the first time, disabled students with testing accommodations, such as extended time, were included in the overall reporting numbers.

College-readiness benchmarks were developed by ACT to predict whether a student has a 75 percent chance of earning a C or higher or a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher in a typical first-year college course. Students this year did best in English, with 64 percent achieving the standard. Forty-four percent met it in both reading and math, and 36 percent hit the benchmark in science.

This year, ACT moved the reading benchmark up 1 point to 22 and science down 1 point to 23 to match expectations for performance at a national sample of colleges.

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  1. Hasn’t it been shown that, no matter how you try to change scoring systems or readjust standards, that only about 25% of the general population has what it takes to handle college, period? And that’s just to the Associates / Bachelor’s degree level… It supposedly drops to around 10% when you get into Master’s degree territory.

    • HERESY!! You remember what happened to that guy who said the fish was good enough for Jehovah? (Life of Brian.) Well, anyhow we can’t say that or we’ll get the same treatment; regardless of the truth value.

      Basically yes, the ACT is fiddling with the numbers to show us empirically where a certain percentile falls.

      Interesting that reading got bumped up and science got a bump down. With the hypothesis that less and less qualified kids are taking it, I’d think they’d both be moving in the same direction – likely toward lower numbers.

  2. Above IQ 110 gives you about 25% of the US population. Above IQ 105 gives you about 37% of the US population.
    Getting 40% of the US population through college is an extremely ambitious goal.

  3. This is not anything new, it’s been that way for years,
    except that idiot state department of educations, and local
    school districts think that a student who hasn’t had the
    required coursework in high school is somehow ready
    to actually tackle college level coursework…