MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A new report is out that shows student test scores on the ACT are down on a national level, and Alabama’s results followed the same trend, though not down quite as much.
The ACT, a measurement of student performance in the fields of English, reading, math and science, saw 2018 progress on reading, math, and science stagnate both nationally and in Alabama. That’s according to The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2018, the ACT’s yearly report.
The national average score for the test stands at 20.8, down from 21 last year. Alabama is below the national average with a 19.1 score. Only four states have lower scores than Alabama.
Nationally, 38 percent of graduates meet three of the four college readiness benchmarks. In Alabama, it stands unchanged from the previous year at 25 percent.
The Alabama State Department of Education points to the state’s score being lower possibly because it’s in its fifth year of testing every 11th grader. In 2014, only 80 percent of those students took the test and the state’s composite score was 20.6. State officials say by testing every student in the grade level, it “traditionally brings down scores because of broader amounts of test takers.”
The nation hit a 14-year low mark for math readiness. It went down from 46 percent in 2012 to just 40 percent last year while in Alabama it stands at 23 percent, down slightly from 2017.
English readiness is also on the decline nationally. In 2014 some 64 percent of students who took the test were college ready. It’s taken a slide to 60 percent in the latest findings. Alabama stands at 51 percent, unchanged from 2017.
Alabama’s 2018 science score was 19.0, a dip from 19.4 in 2017, representing about 24 percent of students being college ready. That compares to about 36 percent nationally.
Alabama’s 2018 reading average score was 19.6 compared to 19.7 in 2017. That’s about 35 percent meeting the benchmark compared to 46 percent nationally.
Alabama is among 17 states that tests 100 percent of its graduates with the ACT. From there, it ranges from 99 percent in Minnesota to just seven percent in Maine.