The Class of 2009 posted a composite score of 25.7 on the ACT college entrance exam, tying the highest mark in school history set last year. The school’s most recent graduates joined their fellow alumni in standing well above state and national averages on the exam. The state average was 20.8, and the national average was 21.1. The ACT scoring scale is 1 to 36.
This marks the fifth straight year Stevenson’s graduating seniors have recorded an ACT composite score of 25 or higher, after never having reached the level.
The Class of 2009 set all-time highs in English (26.1) and science (24.6), and had the second-best efforts ever in mathematics (26.5) and reading (25.1).
Stevenson students continue to be better prepared for college than their peers around the state and nation, according to ACT officials. The percentage of Stevenson students taking the ACT who are ready for college-level coursework far exceeds state and national averages.
For example, 94% of Stevenson’s Class of 2009 recorded a score of 18 or better in the English portion of the ACT, compared to 66% in Illinois. By reaching the benchmark score of 18, ACT says a student has a 50% chance of earning a B or higher grade in a college English composition course. (The same student has a 75% chance of getting a C or higher in the college course.)
Even greater disparities were seen in mathematics, reading and science.
In mathematics, where the benchmark corresponds with a college algebra course, 79% of Stevenson’s most recent graduates reached ACT’s benchmark score of 22 or higher, compared to only 40% in Illinois.
More than three-fourths (77%) of the Class of 2009 scored 21 or higher in reading — which ACT links to a college social science class — while the state mark was 48%.
In science, 57% of Stevenson’s graduates met the benchmark of 24, compared to 27% throughout Illinois.
Overall, 52% of Stevenson graduates met benchmarks in all four areas, compared to 22% statewide.
1,077 graduating seniors took the ACT, the second-highest number in school history behind the Class of 2008 (1,114).
Almost all graduating seniors in Illinois take the ACT, because it is part of the mandated Prairie State Achievement Examination given to all 11th-grade students. Illinois is one of seven states in which at least 90% of graduating seniors take the ACT, and its 20.8 composite score tied Colorado for the best among them.