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Scores on College Entrance ACT Exam Rise

<i> Associated Press</i>

Nationwide scores on the ACT college entrance exam improved slightly for the second year in a row, but most freshmen still aren’t ready for calculus or chemistry.

Scores rose in 1994 because high school students, especially growing numbers of women, are taking more of the courses needed to prepare for college, test officials said Tuesday.

This year’s average score on the American College Testing assessment was 20.8, up from 20.7 in 1993. During the three years before that, scores held steady at 20.6.

ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. Women get the credit for boosting this year’s average: While male scores fell 0.1 of a point, to 20.9, female scores rose 0.3 of a point, to 20.7.

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Although men have always scored higher, the gender gap this year was the smallest ever, reflecting the growing number of women high school students taking advanced math and science classes, ACT President Richard L. Ferguson said.

He said many students still aren’t taking all the courses they need to get ready for college. He called on teachers to steer more students into those classes, especially advanced math and science.

About 60% of entering college freshmen took the test.


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