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August 21, 2013 - Oklahoma Sees Increase in ACT Scores, Moves Closer to National Average

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Oklahoma high school seniors who took the ACT test last spring showed gains in their composite score over their 2012 counterparts, a new report shows.

Data released today by ACT shows that this year’s senior class scored an average of 20.8 on the test, which is 0.1 point higher than last year’s score. The national average for 2013 graduates was 20.9, a 0.2 point decrease from 2012.

Oklahoma’s scores also increased in science and reading. High school seniors scored an average of 20.8 in science and 21.4 in reading, an increase of 0.2 and 0.1 point, respectively.

The state’s score in English remained steady at 20.4 while the national score dropped from 20.5 to 20.2. Oklahoma’s score in math maintained its 2012 high of 20.1, while the national score decreased from 21.1 to 20.9.

“We are encouraged to see increased ACT scores from Oklahoma’s high school graduates,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These findings show that more students are graduating with the skills needed to be successful in college and life after high school. It is important that we continue challenging students and preparing them for a college education.”

The total number of Oklahoma students taking the ACT was 28,988.

Oklahoma’s three largest groups of minority students continue to perform above their national peers. Native Americans in Oklahoma achieved a composite average of 19.4, compared to the national average of 18.0. African Americans scored 0.5 point higher than their national peers in 2013. Hispanic graduates outscored their national peers by 0.8 point. Additionally, Hispanic participation has risen 92 percent over a five-year period in Oklahoma.

Efforts are underway to continue improving student academic preparation by requiring students to take a more rigorous curriculum in response to the Achieving Classroom Excellence initiative and the Oklahoma Educational Planning and Assessment System (OK EPAS) program.

Oklahoma is making strides in preparing students for higher education by increasing the percentage of students who meet ACT’s benchmark scores, which measure the number of graduates likely to be prepared for college-level work. Twenty-three percent of students met all four of ACT’s benchmark scores in English, college algebra, social science and biology. This is 3 percentage points higher than in 2012 and closer to the national average of 26 percent.