Posted: Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Greenville County Students Score Higher on ACT than Peers Statewide

The Greenville County Schools graduating class of 2016 scored higher than the state average on the American College Test (ACT).  Greenville County’s average ACT composite score was 19.2. The South Carolina average composite score was 18.5

The results are the first since state law required school districts to test all juniors, regardless of their preparatory course work or their intention to attend college.  The 100% testing requirement was instituted by the General Assembly through Act 200, which Governor Haley signed into law May 30, 2014.   Students may re-take the ACT at any point during high school, but only the most recent score is reported.

In 2015, Greenville County Schools tested fewer than two thousand students (1,977), equal to the number ultimately attending college.  In 2016, GCS tested nearly five thousand students (4,909).  The requirement to test all students caused average scores to decline in Greenville County and statewide.  The average composite score for all Greenville juniors was 21.9 in 2015, compared to 19.2 in 2016.

“In the past we were looking at data from students who elected to take the test on a Saturday, had completed the appropriate coursework, took practice exams online, and had plans to attend a four year college.  This year’s data pool includes non-diploma special needs students and non-college bound students who were required to take a state test during the school day. The data is incomparable. South Carolina set a new benchmark this year,” said Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster.

South Carolina and Greenville County Schools are testing 100% of juniors, compared to only 64% of juniors nationwide.  South Carolina law requires special education students and students who do not intend to pursue post-secondary education to take the college prep exam.  Of the 4,237 students who graduated from Greenville County Schools in 2016, fewer than two thousand (1,902) indicated that they planned to attend a four year college.  Another 1,631 said planned to attend a two year college that may not require the ACT or SAT.

Greenville County Scores by Subject Area

  • The ACT subject test with the highest average score was Reading, followed by Science, Math and English.
  • The ACT Reading score average - 19.7
  • The ACT Science score average - 19.3
  • The ACT Math score average- 19.1
  • The ACT English score average - 18.1 
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