SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah students scored above the national average on the ACT tests this year, doing better on English and reading than they did on math and science.
The ACT released the results of its 2005 tests Tuesday. Sixty-eight percent of Utah high school graduates took the ACT, compared to 40 percent of graduates nationwide.
The Utahns' overall average score was 21.5, compared with the U.S. average of 20.9. Neither the state composite score, nor the national composite score, changed from 2004.
But Ken Gullette of the ACT said, "There are still a lot of (Utah) high school graduates who don't have all the skills they need to succeed in college."
The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test consisting of four mandatory tests on English, reading, math and science and an optional writing test. It is the predominant college-entrance exam for Utah and 24 other states. Scores for the writing test will be reported for the first time next year.
ACT officials said that to tackle college courses, students should have scored 18 in English, 22 in math, 21 in reading and 24 in science. A perfect score on the ACT is 36.
Seventy-three percent of the Utah test-takers exceeded those marks in English and 58 percent did so in reading. However, only 43 percent exceeded the recommended score in math and just 30 percent did so in science.
Christine Kearl of the state Office of Education says educators should encourage students to take more higher-level math and science courses.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)