Preface to the National ACT Profile Report

This report provides information about the performance of your 2011 graduating seniors who took the ACT as sophomores, juniors, or seniors; and self-reported at the time of testing that they were scheduled to graduate in 2011 and tested under standard time conditions.

This report focuses on:

  • Performance—student test performance in the context of college readiness
  • Access—number of your graduates exposed to college entrance testing and the percent of race/ethnicity participation
  • Course Selection—percent of students pursuing a core curriculum
  • Course Rigor—impact of rigorous coursework on achievement
  • College Readiness—percent of students meeting ACT College Readiness Benchmark Scores in each content area
  • Awareness—extent to which student aspirations match performance
  • Articulation—colleges and universities to which your students send test results

Each year, test data for a school, district, and the state represents a different cohort of students. ACT encourages educators to focus on trends (3, 5, 10 years), not year-to-year changes. Such changes can represent normal—even expected—fluctuations. On the other hand, trend lines offer more insight into what is happening in a school, district, or the state.

Furthermore, ACT encourages educators to measure student performance in the context of college readiness measures. The focus should be on the number and percentage of students meeting or exceeding ACT's College Readiness Benchmark Scores, a measure that is much more meaningful and understandable than an average composite score for a group of students.

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