For Immediate Release
August 16, 2006
Illinois students’ ACT test scores continue
Illinois’ ACT Scores Support
SPRINGFIELD, IL – ACT results for the graduating
class of 2006 released today reflect the largest increase
in student test scores in the last five years, with the
average composite score rising from 20.3 in 2005 to 20.5
in 2006. The increase of .20 is a tremendous achievement,
particularly in a state with a population of Illinois,
in which all students take the ACT.
This continues the positive upward trend in Illinois,
where the average composite score was 20.1 in 2002. Composite
average scores for all racial/ethnic groups increased
in the 2006 results.
“Illinois is one of only two states where all
students take the ACT exam. We want to be sure we’re
assessing how well-prepared all our students are when
they graduate from high school,” said State Superintendent
of Education Randy Dunn. “With the passage of Governor
Blagojevich’s Higher Standards Better Schools Act
last year, we have a clear focus on preparing Illinois
students for college and career success. As the increased
rigor of increased high school graduation requirements
is phased in over the next three years, we expect continued
improvement in these test results.”
The test results point to the importance of encouraging
all Illinois high school students to take a rigorous
high school curriculum that is aligned with the Illinois
Learning Standards. The 41 percent of Illinois’ test
takers who reported that they took core college prep
curriculum, scored a composite 22.6 – the highest
score since all Illinois public school 11th graders starting
taking the test in 2001. The national composite is 22.0.
Illinois students who reported that they did not take
the “core” curriculum scored 18.9 – also
the highest score to date, but still below the national “non-core
composite score of 19.7.
More than 137,000 student results from the class of
2006 are reflected in the report, including all Illinois
public school students. The results released by ACT are
for all Illinois 11th graders taking the exam during
the 2004-2005 school year, as well as students who took
the ACT at an ACT test site. Each student’s most
recent score is reflected in the report.
The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test made
up of four separate exams in English, reading, mathematics
and science, plus an optional writing test. It is scored
on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible
score. The test is administered in all 50 states and
is the predominant college entrance exam in 25 states.
Although the ACT assessment is designed for students
who plan to attend college, Illinois has given the test
to all high school juniors since 2001. Colorado is the
only other state that administers the ACT for all students.
Other Illinois facts from the results include:
- The number of students taking the test is
up from 135,967 to 137,399.
- The Reading composite score is 20.6.
- 33 Illinois students scored a perfect 36.
- African-American average composite score
was 16.9 (up 0.1).
- Hispanic average composite score was 17.7
- The American Indian/Alaskan native average
composite score was 17.6 (up 0.3).
- Health Science and Allied Health careers
received the highest number of interested students
expressing interest in this field.