In Focus Blog

ACT Scores Rise Again, Continue Outpacing State and Nation

Thursday, August 29, 2013

By Ryan Blackburn

We are pleased to announce that the average for the 5,747 Catholic high school students who took the ACT test in 2013 showed gains in nearly every testing area, and in the composite score. The average composite score for Catholic high school students in the Archdiocese is 23.1, which is a 0.2 point improvement over our students' performance last year, and 2.5 points above the State of Illinois’ average. All scores continue to be above the average for the State of Illinois and the Nation.

On the English section, students scored 3.3 points ahead of the State average, with 85% demonstrating college-readiness in that subject. In the Science section, Catholic high school students scored an average of 22.3, 1.8 points above the State average.

Math scores rose to 22.3, up 0.1 points over last year and 1.6 points ahead of the State. Reading scores also increased to 23.6, up 0.5 and 3.2 points above the State.

“Preparing young people for college and for life is not just a mantra, it is a hard-working, prayerful reality in our Catholic High Schools,” said Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, Superintendent. “While we are proud of the 2013 ACT performance, the schools are positioned for continual improvement.”

Academic Progress of Catholic Elementary Students

Click on the image for more detail and information on ACT in Catholic High Schools in the Archdiocese.

Over 98% of Catholic high school seniors graduate, and the 5,747 students who took the ACT represents 98% of all seniors across the 37 high schools in the Archdiocese.

The ACT® test assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. Across the country, 1.4 million high school students annually take the ACT test, usually in the fall of their senior year. Students answer 315 questions in the four subject categories. The top score possible in the multiple-choice section of the test is 36.

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