Number of Blacks Taking the ACT College Entrance Examination Soars But the Racial Gap in Test Scores Widens Once Again

The number of 2010 African-American high school seniors who took the ACT college entrance examination rose to 215,000. This was up from 196,000 in 2009 and 139,000 in 2006. From 2006 to 2010 the number of black ACT test takers increased by nearly 59 percent.

While the number of black test takers has increased, black scores on the ACT have remained flat. For the past three years the mean black score on the test was 16.9, on a scale of 1 to 36. The mean white score on the ACT test in 2010 was 22.3. The average score for whites has increased in each of the past three years. As a result, the racial gap in ACT scores has increased.