The Widening Racial Gap in ACT Scores

In 2011, 223,000 African American high school seniors took the American College Testing Program’s ACT college entrance examination. This is an increase of 47 percent from 2007.

The ACT test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. For blacks the average ACT test score in 2011 was 17.0. While there was a slight improvement from last year’s average score of 16.9, this year’s score is exactly the same average score that black students achieved in 2007.

For whites the average ACT score in 2007 was 22.6. By 2011 the average white score had improved a full point to 23.6. Thus, while whites are showing improvement, blacks are not and the racial gap in ACT scores is increasing.


Comments (2)

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  1. Godwin Oise says:

    The fact there is no response to the post shows how disconnected we (Americans) are to black issues of concern. African Americans leaders need to bring the issue of academic under preparedness to every home and politics. There is a direct relationship between stable families and academic achievement.

  2. Eric Busboom says:

    Scores on voluntary tests, like the SAT and ACT, decrease as more people take them, so, if there was a 47% increase in test takers in 4 years, you’d expect the average scores to drop. Since they dropped by only .1 points, this is arguably actually an improvement.

    It is possible that there was an increase in scores for all races, but the number of white test takers did not increase, and the increase in black test takers masks an increase in the scores.

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