Less than half of high school seniors are college ready!
According to College Board’s SAT Report on College & Career Readiness: 2012, only 43 percent of college-bound high school seniors who took the SAT achieved the benchmark score of 1550 and were considered to demonstrate college readiness. It is important for parents and students to note that high school course taking alone, does not ensure that a student will be adequately prepared:
- While 83 percent of students took AP/Honors Math in high school, only 55 percent demonstrated college readiness in mathematics
- While 71 percent of students took AP/Honors English in high school, only 49 percent demonstrated college readiness in critical reading
There also continues to be huge disparities, by race, of the percentage of students who completed their high school’s core curriculum:
- 80 percent of White students
- 73 percent of Asian students
- 71 percent of Native American students
- 69 percent of Hispanic students
- 65 percent of African American students
The ACT’s report, The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2012, was nearly twice as dire as the SAT’s report, with only 25 percent of college-bound high school seniors demonstrating college readiness in each of the four areas tested (English, Reading, Math, and Science). The percentage of students meeting the college readiness benchmarks in each area were:
- 67 percent in English
- 52 percent in Reading
- 46 percent in Mathematics
- 31 percent in Science
As reflected in SAT scores, there is a huge gap between the percentage of high school seniors taking the core curriculum and their meeting college readiness benchmarks:
- 81 percent of Asian students took the core curriculum and only 42 percent demonstrated college readiness in all four areas
- 77 percent of White students took the core curriculum and only 32 percent demonstrated college readiness in all four areas
- 73 percent of Hispanic students took the core curriculum and only 13 percent demonstrated college readiness in all four areas
- 66 percent of Native American students took the core curriculum and only 11 percent demonstrated college readiness in all four areas
- 72 percent of African American students took the core curriculum and only 5 percent demonstrated college readiness in all four areas
If students are to be adequately prepared for college, they must not only take the most rigorous classes offered within their high school or online, they must apply themselves to deepen their knowledge of the subject area. This will require much more than memorizing equations, formulas, or events. Students must learn why, understand how, and develop the reasoning and critical thinking skills to conceptualize, extrapolate, synthesize, and apply knowledge.
The SAT measures the reading, mathematics, and writing skills that are part of a rigorous high school curriculum and that students need to be successful in college:
- The reading section assesses students’ ability to draw inferences, synthesize information, distinguish between main and supporting ideas and understand vocabulary as it is used in context.
- The mathematics section requires students to apply mathematical concepts, solve problems and use data literacy skills in interpreting tables, charts and graphs.
- The writing section requires students to communicate ideas clearly and effectively; improve writing through revision and editing; recognize and identify sentence-level errors; understand grammatical elements and structures and how they relate to each other in a sentence; and improve coherence of ideas within and among paragraphs.
The ACT benchmark scores represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher, or a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in their first0year college courses (English Composition, College Algebra, Biology, and an introductory social science course). The ACT benchmark scores are:
- 18 in English
- 21 in Reading
- 22 in Math
- 24 in Science