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Florida ACT Scores Remain Level But Below National Average

ACT sets minimum scores to indicate college readiness by subject.
ACT sets minimum scores to indicate college readiness by subject.

The latest scores from the ACT college entrance exam suggest many of this year’s high school graduates aren’t prepared for college-level course work.

In its annual score report released Wednesday, the testing company said only 38 percent of graduating seniors who took the exam hit the college-ready benchmark in at least three of the four core subjects tested — reading, english, math and science.

Students in Florida fared about the same as last year with an average composite score of 19 point 9. That's one full point below the national average. The highest possible score on the test is 36. But a spokesperson for the testing company says the decline was driven by a significant increase in the number and percentage of students who took the exam. 

Massachusetts had the highest composite average-- while students in Nevada fared the worst. 

In the last five years, only the ACT scores of Asian-Americans on average have improved, while other groups have remained level or dropped.

Florida has seen an increase in the number of students taking the ACT. Participation in the test has nearly doubled in the past decade. 

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Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.