Kershaw County School District (KCSD) 2014 seniors’ average composite score on the ACT college entrance exam increased 0.5 points, reaching an all-time district high while outperforming the state average for the second straight year at the same time that the number of local test takers increased.
KCSD students’ average composite score jumped from 20.3 to 20.8, which was 0.4 points higher than the statewide average, which remained at 20.4. The national average composite increased 0.1 points to 21.0.
According to ACT officials, districts and schools that have a 0.3 point increase or greater show statistically significant improvement. The SC State Department of Education highlighted KCSD as one of 32 SC school districts that increased its average composite score with this high achievement gain.
North Central High and Camden High were among 94 state schools with statistically significant increases of 2.2 points and 1.1 points respectively while Lugoff-Elgin High maintained its average composite average of 20.9.
“This is outstanding news,” said KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan. “Our students continue to outperform many of their counterparts in our neighboring districts. I continue to give credit to them and their families as well as our exemplary teachers and staff.”
Morgan said that the district’s average ranks it third highest among Midlands area school districts and 11th best out of 85 SC school districts.
The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. The test includes 215 multiple-choice questions with a 36 as the highest possible score.
“We saw more than a 13 percent jump in the number of our students taking the ACT this year,” Morgan said. “An increase in the number of students taking a test typically decreases your average score so we were pleased to see otherwise with our students. With the ACT being a more content-based test, some students do much better on it than the SAT, and it is now accepted by all SC colleges and universities.”
Kershaw County seniors’ scores improved in all four areas with the biggest gains in the reading subtest where the score rose from the 2013 average of 20.6 to 21.4 in 2014. In English, the score rose from 19.5 to 20.1 and while the science average jumped from 20.2 to 20.8. The math average score increased from 20.3 to 20.4.
Camden High’s average composite score matched the national average at 21.0 while Lugoff-Elgin High’s remained at 20.9. North Central High’s average composite score was 19.8. All three schools increased their number of test takers.