Many College-Bound Blacks Lack the Reading Skills Needed to Succeed in Higher Education

A new report prepared by the American College Testing Program finds that only half of all high school graduates who took the ACT college entrance examination in 2005 showed the reading skills necessary to succeed in college. In analyzing results of reading comprehensive questions of the ACT test, researchers developed a benchmark which identifies students who “are likely ready to handle the reading requirements for a typical credit-bearing first-year college social science course.”

For blacks who took the ACT test, only 21 percent had the reading skills they will need in college. This is less than one half the rate for whites.

It is important to note that these results are only for black students who took the ACT test and who therefore in all probability were planning to enroll in college.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.