ACT Reports Only 1 in 4 High School Students Ready for College
By Kathryn Knight Randolph
August 29, 2012
Be college ready. Prepare for standardized tests.
The ACT does more than just provide students with a standardized test score to use in the admissions process. Each year, it’s looking for key indications of college readiness on the whole. Last week, the ACT unveiled the results from last year’s testing.
Once again, the results showed that only one in four students are meeting all college readiness benchmarks in English, Reading, Math and Science, which is on par with The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2011 results. When broken down by subject, the results are even more disheartening:
• 67% of students met the English college readiness benchmark, the subject area in which students tested highest
• 52% met the Reading college readiness benchmark
• 46% met the Mathematics college readiness benchmark
• 31% met the Science college readiness benchmark, meaning only one in three students is adequately prepared for college-level science
According to the ACT report, 87% of these test takers indicated that they planned on acquiring at least a two-year degree after high school, meaning that those who are not college-ready are no doubt planning to go to college.
With that, colleges will have to spend more money on providing remedial classes to students who aren’t quite ready for the rigor of college classes. And just like colleges will have to spend more money, students and their parents may have to as well.
Rather than taking the entry-level college courses, students may be restricted to remedial classes for the first semester or year, meaning that it could take longer than four years to graduate which translates to more dollars spent on tuition. So what can high school students do now to ensure they’re college ready when the time comes?
Start preparing for standardized tests early and often. Though students typically don’t take the SAT or ACT until junior year, that is no reason to slack when it comes to getting test ready. Start preparing freshmen year by taking advantage of free or paid test prep classes as well as free and private tutoring. Free classes are typically offered through the school while a more private experience can be found through services like Kaplan.
Focus on mathematics and science. These are clearly areas where a majority of students are falling short so pay attention in math and science class. Challenge yourself with extra class time or work that your teacher provides. If you don’t understand something, talk to you teacher after class about going over the material again.
Read as much as possible. Reading will not only help you with reading comprehension but also with writing and language arts, in general. Don’t just read what is required of you for homework in your classes. Pick up something fun that interests you, and devote a half an hour a day to leisure reading.
What are you doing to prepare yourself for college?
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