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Area ACTs beat U.S. average

Test measures student’s readiness for college, career

Washington and Idaho students scored above the national average on the ACT test – a measure of college and career readiness, according to results released Wednesday.

Nearly half of all U.S. high school seniors – about 1.62 million – took the ACT exam this year, including 64 percent of Idaho seniors and 20 percent of Washington seniors.

Only 10.1 percent of Spokane Public Schools’ high school seniors took the test, while nearly 44.5 percent of Coeur d’Alene School District students tested, school officials said.

Washington seniors are more likely to take the SAT, which in-state universities used to require. .

“Both tests are pretty equitable,” said Mike Nelson, Coeur d’Alene School District assessments coordinator. “In Coeur d’Alene, we see about 60 percent of students take the ACT and 40 percent take the SAT. A lot of the strong college-bound students have started taking both.”

However, the percentage of Idaho students taking the ACT could drop since the Idaho Department of Education signed a contract Wednesday to pay for all high school juniors who take the SAT.

In Idaho and Washington, 26 percent and 35 percent seniors, respectively, met all four benchmarks of the ACT. As defined by ACT, students at that level are predicted to have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher in a related college course. The national average was 30 percent.

A perfect score on the ACT is 36. Washington’s class of 2011 earned a 22.8 – a combined score in the areas of English, math, reading and science – compared to the national average of 21. The average student score in Idaho was 21.7.

Coeur d’Alene students scored 23.3. For Spokane Public Schools, it was 22.2.

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