Moffat County tops average ACT scores

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— The 25,512 students in the Colorado High School Class of 1999 remained above average in terms of the American College Testing Program (ACT). The class of 1999 received an average score of 21.5 and in Moffat County, students graduating in 1999 averaged a score of 22. The national average for 1999 was 21.

The Moffat County score of 22 is up from the 1998 total of 21. The ACT test is a college entrance exam which can determine how well a student will succeed at the college level.

"I am very much pleased with the results," said Sandie Johns, counselor at Moffat County High School. "This reflects the students who graduated in 1999 which was a very academic class."

According to Johns, scoring well on the test is determined by the number of core classes the student has taken.

"It is really important to look at the number of core and non-core classes," Johns said. "The more English and science classes you take, the better results you will see in those areas."

Core classes are determined as college preparatory courses. These classes and credits required include:

English (four years or more including one year credit each for English 9, 10, 11 and 12).

Mathematics (three years or more including one year credit each for algebra I, algebra II and geometry).

One-half year credit each for trigonometry, calculus (not pre-calculus) and other math courses beyond algebra II.

Social sciences

One year credit each for American history, world history and American government.

One-half year credit each for economics, geography, psychology and other history (European, state, etc.).

Natural science (three years or more).

One year credit each for general, physical, or earth science, biology, chemistry and physics.

Taking the required core classes greatly enhances a student's chance of scoring well on the exam. In Moffat County, 54 percent were involved in the core curriculum. In terms of composite score, students taking core classes received an average of 23.1 while non-core scored 20.4.

The highest ranking category was that of reading. Both core and non-core students at Moffat County High averaged 23.1

"The quality of classes you take helps determine your score," Johns said. She also commented that, although helpful, many of the ACT preparation classes could be avoided if a student would stay in the core class group.

Out of the graduating class of 157 in 1999, 107 took the ACT, equaling 68.2 percent.

The ACT is given to high school juniors and seniors.

In comparison to 1998, the average in Colorado remained fairly steady, dropping from 21.6 in 1998 to 21.5 this year.

"The ACT results are a timely reminder of the importance of standards as our state is moving decisively in that direction," stated William J. Moloney, Commissioner of Education in Colorado.

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