Uncategorized

North Carolina’s ACT scores reflect first time all students take exam

This year marks the first time in the state’s history that 100 percent of North Carolina’s students were required to take the ACT in 2013.

The ACT is a college entrance exam (some refer to it as the alternative to the SAT) that North Carolina selected as the state’s new college readiness measure for high schools because it measures science as well as mathematics, reading and English.

In previous years, approximately 20 percent of the state’s high school students voluntarily took the ACT. North Carolina’s average score was higher than the national average in those years, with 21.9 being the the state’s average composite score in 2012 (the national average was 21.1).

With the new requirement that all students take the ACT, participation jumped from 19,000 students sitting for the exam in 2012 to 95,000 students this year.

North Carolina’s 2013 average ACT score fell to 18.7, below the 20.9 national average for this year.

Addressing the drop in average ACT scores, State Superintendent June Atkinson said in a statement, “When we began this process, we knew that our first scores would be lower, but it is important to get a true picture of where we are in order to improve. We know we have our work cut out for us in terms of raising student expectations and preparing 100 percent of our students for community college- or university-level work.”

According to the Department of Public Instruction, other states that have moved to a requirement that all of their students take the ACT experienced a drop similar to North Carolina’s but found their performance moving up in subsequent years.

For example, in its first year of statewide administration (2007-08), Kentucky’s average score was 18.3, but it has steadily increased to 19.6 in 2013.

Read ACT’s full report on North Carolina’s Condition of Career and College Readiness here.

3 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    August 21, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Guess all those years of progressive education theories….throwing money willy nilly at the problem, socialist indoctrination, focus on “diversity” now are being shown as complete failures by the time they are seniors. Good thing we are getting back on a right track with education…but there is a long way to go.

  2. Alan

    August 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Another fascinating and enlightening comment from Doogie.

  3. Doug

    August 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Thanks man! Glad to do it.

Check Also

Changing hats, but my focus remains on education

Dear NC Policy Watch readers, It’s been a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement refuses to disclose any details of probe into alle [...]

Senate favors form of merit selection for judges as alternative to House judicial redistricting bill [...]

North Carolinians hoping to find out who’s been funding Rep. Justin Burr’s crusade this legislative [...]

The SePro Corporation is receiving as much as $1.3 million in taxpayer money to chemically kill the [...]

Here is something you probably haven’t heard much lately, if at all, given the shocking news from Ch [...]

Lawmakers to return to Raleigh yet again; agenda may include dangerous “de-reg” proposal The North C [...]

The three federal judges could have just come right out and said it: The Republicans who rule the N. [...]

3---number of states that adopted new state Earned Income Tax Credits in 2017---Montana, Hawaii, and [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more