High school students graduating last spring from two Midlands school districts scored among the highest in the state on the ACT college readiness test, according to results announced Wednesday.
Students in Lexington 1 and Lexington-Richland 5 districts posted the fifth and sixth highest average ACT scores, respectively. Lexington 1 students averaged 22.3 points out of a possible 36 while Lexington 5 students averaged 22.1.
Students in a third Midlands school district, Kershaw County, tied for 12th out of 85 school districts taking the test, averaging 20.8 points.
The three Midlands districts scored above the state average of 20.4 points, which was unchanged from 2013. The national average on the college admissions test increased by 0.1 points to 21 points.
In a news release, state schools Superintendent Mick Zais said S.C. “students are to be commended for their performance on the 2014 ACT test. While South Carolina’s average ACT composite score was slightly under the national average, its proximity (to the national average) proves that we are making progress.”
The number of S.C. high school seniors taking the ACT increased by almost 11 percent to more than 23,000. The state’s students traditionally have taken the competing SAT college entrance exam. But about 58 percent of the state’s 2014 graduating class took the ACT test.
The top-performing S.C. districts were the Governor’s Schools, averaging 27.8 points, followed by the Fort Mill school district at 23.3 points and the Clover school district at 22.7 points.
Three Midlands school districts also made significant gains on the ACT college readiness test, according to scores released recently.
Graduating seniors in the Kershaw and Richland 1 school districts improved the most, with their scores increasing 0.5 points on average from the Class of 2013.
Lexington 1 saw a 0.4 point increase.
The S.C. Department of Education said a 0.3 point increase is considered a significant improvement by the testmaker.
Richland 1’s students averaged 18.7 points – the lowest of the eight Midlands districts.
The Lexington 3 district, whose 2014 graduates averaged 19.1, was the only one of the eight Midlands districts to record lower scores, a drop of 0.6 points from the class of 2013’s scores.