• October 30, 2014

Few Students Are Ready for College Coursework, ACT Says

HOME: Almanac 2011 SECTIONS: Finance The Profession Student Demographics
  Access and Equity Technology International

A minority of high-school students who took the ACT college-entrance exam and graduated in 2011 met the ACT's minimum scores for college readiness in all four of these core areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. Hispanic and black students were especially likely to be underprepared according to this measure.

Percent of students deemed ready, 2011
  English Mathematics Reading Science All four areas
Asian 76% 71% 62% 46% 41%
White 77% 54% 62% 37% 31%
All students 66% 45% 52% 30% 25%
Two or more races 68% 41% 53% 28% 22%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 55% 36% 39% 19% 15%
American Indian/Alaska Native 47% 25% 36% 15% 11%
Hispanic/Latino 47% 30% 35% 15% 11%
Black/African-American 35% 14% 21% 6% 4%
Note: The ACT designated as ready high-school students who met minimum benchmark scores on its subject-area tests. Those scores were set to indicate a 50-percent chance of obtaining a grade of B or higher or about a 75-percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in a credit-bearing college course requiring skills in that subject area.

 

Average scores on the ACT by sex and race/ethnicity, 2011
  English Mathematics Reading Science Composite score Change since 2007 in composite score
Men 20.2 21.6 21.1 21.4 21.2 n/a
Women 20.9 20.6 21.4 20.5 21.0 n/a
Asian 22.8 25.1 22.9 23.1 23.6 1.0
White 22.1 22.1 22.7 22.1 22.4 0.3
Two or more races 20.7 20.7 21.6 20.9 21.1 0.1
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 18.6 19.9 19.4 19.5 19.5 n/a
Hispanic/Latino 17.6 19.2 18.9 18.8 18.7 0.0
American Indian/Alaska Native 17.5 18.6 19.1 18.9 18.6 -0.3
Black/African-American 15.9 17.2 17.0 17.1 17.0 0.0
Prefer not to respond/No response 20.2 20.9 21.0 20.4 20.7 -1.0
All students 20.6 21.1 21.3 20.9 21.1 -0.1
Note: The ACT exam is scored on a scale from 1 to 36. The designation "n/a" means data were not available.
Source: ACT

 

subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.