State holds steady on ACT scores

JACKSON – Average Mississippi scores on the ACT college entrance exam held steady for the high school class of 2009 as the number of students taking the test increased.
The composite score of 18.9 was the same as the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday. The average composite score nationwide was 21.1.
The percent of Mississippi students showing they could succeed in college in the areas of English, math, reading and science rose slightly to 10 percent from 9 percent, meaning most high school graduates will need remedial classes in college. The national average was 23 percent.
In Mississippi, 25,976 students took the test. The figure was 25,641 last year. The percent of black students taking the test rose to 40 percent, up from 37 percent.
Although the state scores were below average, Mississippi followed national trends in the unchanged scores and the number of students taking the test.
Nationally, Average scores on the ACT college entrance exam held steady, with more students earned scores indicating they’re prepared to succeed in college in all four areas tested by the ACT: English, math, reading and science.
However, the increases were slight, and more than three-quarters of graduates still fail to meet that benchmark, suggesting those who went on to college need remedial work in at least one subject.
Last spring’s seniors averaged a composite score of 21.1, on the test’s scale of 1 to 36. Sub-scores on English, math and reading were unchanged while science inched up 0.1 points.
Also, a record 1.48 million students graduating in 2009 took the ACT. That’s up 4 percent from the year before – despite a dip in the number of high school seniors nationally – and up 25 percent over four years.

The Associated Press