According to U.S. News & World Report, the slight decline in this year’s average ACT scores ( wasn’t much of a surprise to the creators of the college admissions test. That’s because a record 1.42 million students–or 43 percent of all 2008 graduates–took the test, a 9 percentage point increase from last year. The pool of test takers included students from three states-Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan–that make the ACT mandatory for all graduating students, including those who are not college-bound. Out of a possible 36, the average score on this year’s ACT test was 21.1, down slightly from 21.2 last year. Separately, 22 percent of test takers met the testing agency’s college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, science, and math–the four subject areas covered in the test. That’s down from 23 percent in 2007, but 1 percentage point higher from the previous three years. “While we saw a drop in scores this year, we’re happy to say that college readiness levels remain [relatively] the same,” Cyndie Schmeiser, president of the ACT education division, said this week in announcing the results.
For the testing agency, the bigger concern was the notable percentage of high school students who said they had taken college-prep classes but who still fell short of meeting college readiness benchmarks…

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