Illinois ACT Scores Not Good Enough for College

Only 23 percent of high school graduates could achieve at least a C in college freshman course

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Less than a quarter of Illinois high school graduates are fully prepared for college, according to ACT test scores.

    Scores released by the college admissions test on Wednesday proved only 23 percent of 2011 graduates met college readiness standards in all four testing areas -- English, reading, math and science. This statistic encompasses both public and private school graduating class scores, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Illinois testers took the biggest hit in the science department. The ACT report predicted only 28 percent of the 2011 graduating class would be able to achieve a C or higher in an average biology class as a college freshman based on their test scores.

    Only six percent of the state's African-American students proved college-ready in the area of science.

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    These predictions are based off studies done on first-year college students in English, social studies, algebra and science classes. The students' first-year grades are compared to their respective ACT scores, according to ACT spokesman Ed Colby.

    The ACT predicts students must score at least a 24 in the science category to have hopes of earning at least a C in a freshman biology class. Other ACT subtest benchmarks are: a 22 in ACT math for preparedness in college algebra, a 21 in ACT reading for readiness in a college social science course and a score of 18 to be prepared for a freshmen English composition course.

    Illinois is one of only four states that requires high school students to take the ACT. Despite disappointing results, the 2011 graduating class's average score (20.9 on a 36-point scale) beat out the other three states with required testing -- Colorado (20.7), Michigan (20.0) and Kentucky (19.6). Illinois testers also scored closest to the national average of 21.1.

    This report follows Mayor Rahm Emanuel's debate over the biggest factors affecting Chicago's public school educations and newly appointed CPS chief Jean-Claude Brizard's recent back-to-school campaign.