Most ACT test takers not really college ready

Only 23% of 2009 ACT test-takers were ready to earn a C or higher in the four core subjects of English, reading, math and science, according to a recent study by the American College Testing Service (ACT).  By looking at the ACT scores of presently enrolled college students who are earning As, or Bs, or Cs, ACT determines a minimum ACT “college readiness” score.  Students who achieve the college readiness score have a 50% chance of earning a B or better grade and a 75% chance of earning a C or better grade.

 So only one-quarter of those taking the ACT college entrance tests have a 75% chance of earning a C or better, in other words, most would earn less than a C. 

 The ACT study was summarized in a May 26, 2010 article at Education which also noted that high school students believe that a good GPA means they are prepared for college.  The Education Portal article also quoted another study showing that the vast majority of high school guidance counselors surveyed believed their students were well prepared for college.

 My conclusion:  Neither high school students nor their guidance counselors have a realistic notion of the academic performance demands of college work.  However, it would be interesting to know what proportion of SAT test takers (an alternative college entrance exam used by higher tier universities) have scores indicating college readiness.


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