Nebraska’s 2007 graduating seniors scored slightly higher on the ACT college entrance exam than the 2006 graduates who took the test.
The state’s average score was 22.1, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 21.9 last year and three-tenths of a point from 21.8 in 2005.
The national average this year was 21.2, up a tenth of a percentage point from last year’s 21.1 and three-tenths of a point higher than 2005. The highest ACT score possible is 36.
Nebraska’s average of 22.1 was tied with California for 13th-highest in the nation.
Massachusetts had the highest score for 2007, 23.5, but only 15 percent of its eligible students took the ACT.
Nearly 77 percent of Nebraska’s 2007 graduating seniors took the test, or 16,137 students. Nationally, 42 percent took the test.
The reports were based on scores from 2007 graduating seniors who took the ACT as sophomores, juniors or seniors.
The composite scores come from scores in the four subject areas tested.
In English, the Nebraska students scored 21.8 for 2007, compared with 20.7 nationally; in math, Nebraskans scored 21.8 versus 21 nationally; in reading, 22.4 versus 21.5 nationally; and in science, 21.9 versus 21 nationally.
In the optional writing test, the 2,352 Nebraska students who took it scored 24.9 in the English test, versus 22.3 nationally; and 7.8 in the essay, versus 7.6 nationally. The combined English/writing score for Nebraskans was 23.9, compared with 21.8 nationally.
Over a five-year period, the Nebraska composite scores have risen four-tenths of a percentage point from 21.7 in 2003 to 22.1 this year while the national composite averages also have risen four-tenths of a point from 20.8 in 2003 to 21.2 this year.
Broken down by race and ethnicity, the average Nebraska composite scores varied widely in 2007:
African-American/blacks, 17.9, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 17.7 last year; American Indian/Alaskan native, 19.1, up three-tenths of a point from 18.8 last year; Hispanic, 19.1, compared with 19 last year; Asian-American/Pacific islander, 22.7, up eight-tenths of a point from 21.9 last year; and white, 22.4, versus 22.3 last year.
The state remained ahead of the nation in the number of students ready for college-level courses, as indicated by the tests.
Seventy-seven percent of Nebraska students who took the ACT were judged to be ready for college English composition, versus 69 percent of students nationwide.
And 27 percent of Nebraska students who took the tests met all four ACT benchmark scores in English, math, reading and science versus 23 percent nationwide.
When broken down by race and ethnicity, the figures varied dramatically for Nebraska students who met all four ACT benchmark scores:
29 percent of white students;
31 percent of Asian-American/Pacific Islander;
11 percent of Hispanic students;
11 percent of American Indian/Alaskan native;
and 5 percent of African-American/black students.
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