College Readiness Benchmarks by Level of High School Preparation

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Within a subject area, graduates who took at least a core curriculum in high school were more likely to meet the corresponding ACT College Readiness Benchmark in 2012 than graduates who took less than a core curriculum (defined as 4 years of English and 3 years each of mathematics, science, and social studies).

The largest curriculum-based difference in Benchmark attainment rates was in Mathematics. Graduates who completed 3 or more years of mathematics were more likely to meet the Mathematics Benchmark than graduates who took less than 3 years of mathematics, by 40 percentage points.

Note: Data reflect subject-specific curriculum. For example, English "Core or More" results pertain to students who took at least 4 years of English, regardless of courses taken in other subject areas.

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Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Meeting ACT College Readiness Benchmarks by Number of Years of Courses Taken Within Subject, 2012

Graph reads: In 2012, 68% of ACT-tested high school graduates who took at least a core high school curriculum in English met the College Readiness Benchmark in English, whereas 41% of graduates who took less than a core curriculum in English did so.

SubjectCore or MoreLess than Core
English68%41%
Reading54%40%
Mathematics48%8%
Science33%13%