COVINGTON — Newton County high school students on average still are performing below the state and nation on college entrance exams.
Results from the 2013 ACT exam show that the 564 students who took the ACT, or the American College Test, had an average of 18.5 as a composite score. In Georgia, the average score was 20.7, and nationally, it was 20.9, according to results recently released by NCSS.
The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test designed to measure college readiness and preparation. The ACT includes four separate exams in English, reading, mathematics and science. There is also an optional writing portion. The exam is scored on a scale from 0 to 36.
Across the state, 48,505 students took the test, up from more than 47,000 students last year.
Locally, 32 less students took the test compared to last year, and nationally, nearly 1.8 million students took the test, up from about 1.7 million last year.
At Alcovy High School, 184 students took the test. In English, test takers scored an average of 17.5 in both English and math, an 18.8 in reading and an 18.4 in science.
At Eastside High, 152 students tested, scoring an average of 19.7 in English, 19.1 in math, 21 in reading and 20 in science. While all were county highs, they still lagged behind state averages slightly.
At Newton High, 227 students scored an average of 16.9 in English, 17.2 in math and a 17.9 in both reading and science.
Newton County School System officials reported that overall scores dropped slightly across the board compared to last year’s results. Alcovy posted gains in reading and science.
“We are pleased with the improvements experienced by Alcovy High School,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey in a press release. “As a district, however, there is work to be done if we are to improve the college-readiness of all of our test-takers as measured by the ACT. The move to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards and the increased rigor associated with the State’s new assessments will enable us to effect improvement over time.”