Even though only 24 Sunnyside High School juniors and seniors took the American College Test (ACT) this past year, the students' combined average on the test fell within the national averages, according to local school officials.
"More of our students take the more recognized SAT test," said Diane Kilian, Sunnyside High School counselor. But of the 24 students who took the ACT this past year, the average score was 20.8 on the test, she said.
The national average is 20.9. However, the Sunnyside students' average was slightly below the state average of 22.5.
Washington was ranked among the top three states in the nation for outstanding performance on the ACT. Only Vermont and Maine ranked higher than Washington, said Dr. Terry Bergeson, the state superintendent of public instruction.
Bergeson said the state's results from the ACT is a strong indication that the work being done in Washington schools is better preparing students for life after college.
"I'm particularly pleased to see that, as more of our diverse students participate in this test, our scores remain high. This is truly a success story we can be proud of in our state," Bergeson said.
ACT is one of two widely recognized exams used to gauge readiness for college. While not a required state assessment tool, the ACT, like the SAT, measures a student's readiness for college in English, reading, math and science. Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 36 with 36 being the best possible score.
"Our students earned scores from 13 to 29," said Kilian.
Mirroring the national increase in participation, more Washington graduates are choosing to take the ACT.
"We are seeing more of our students taking the ACT," Kilian said.
Nevertheless, the SAT remains the most popular of the college readiness exams taken by Sunnyside students, she added.
"It (the SAT) is just the test most students are more familiar with as a pre-college exam requirement," she explained.
. Julia Hart can be contacted at
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