Oklahoma City

ACT scores up, but test participation shows decline in state – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2021-10-18 17:08:00 –

Although few students in Oklahoma took the ACT test during the last school year, the overall score of the students who took the test increased by one point. (Photo by Jeswin Thomas of Unsplash)

Oklahoma’s average ACT composite score increased by 1 point in 2021, but far fewer students took the exam due to the pandemic cancellation.

According to recently released data, the 2021 state class averaged 19.7 in ACT. The national average of the exam was 20.3 and the maximum score was 35.

However, Oklahoma’s participation rate dropped to an estimated 58% years after reaching 100% due to the state’s requirement that all 11th graders take college preparatory exams at school for accountability. Almost all Oklahoma districts manage ACT, but some districts use SAT.

These students were in grade 11 in 2020, when state tests were canceled at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. All states received federal exemptions from testing that year.

The Oklahoma Department of Education was due to pay for ACT or SAT administration in the fall of 2020, but the Legislature cut its budget by $ 78 million, including a $ 5.4 million reduction for testing.

Students can take the exam themselves at exam centers nationwide, but there are barriers to taking the exam, including costs, transportation costs, work and family obligations, and coronavirus-related closures.

This year, the state has expanded the exams offered to students using federal COVID-19 relief funding. The school can offer ACT, SAT, and PSAT optional test dates for students in grades 10-12. PSAT is a qualification exam for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Starting in 2017, Oklahoma began offering either ACT or SAT to all juniors free of charge during class hours. The average elderly for the year was 19.4 composites, 1 point compared to the previous year.

Score drops usually occur as the test taker’s pool expands.

However, nationally, both the number of students taking ACT and the average score have declined. According to ACT, the average overall score of 2021 graduates in the United States, 20.3, fell from 20.6 in 2020 to the lowest score in more than 10 years.

In the 2021 class, only 1.3 million students took ACT, while 1.7 million graduates in 2020 and 2 million in 2017. According to the university board, far fewer students took the SAT.

Most universities across the country have chosen not to require students to submit standardized test scores, and their policies have expanded significantly since 2020. This is good news for students, especially those with different backgrounds. Fair & Open Testing, or Fair Test, is an advocacy group that works to eliminate prejudice and misuse of standardized testing.

The test option school considers the applicant’s grade average, class rank and other achievements. The list of test option schools managed by FairTest includes approximately 20 University of Oklahoma.

“In general, schools that have adopted the test option have gained more applicants, more qualified applicants, and more diversity,” Schaefer said. “This is beneficial to both the student and the admissions office.”

According to university data, the University of Oklahoma’s freshman classes in Norman are the most diverse in school history. Of the 4,595 freshmen, 38% are not white, 25% are first-generation students, and no parents have a bachelor’s degree.

Data show that only 65% ​​of applications reported ACT or SAT scores, compared to nearly 99% in 2020.

Oklahoma State University in Stillwater also reports that it accepts the most diverse classes of students to date, with historically marginalized and undervalued students accounting for 30% of the next class. increase. Twenty percent of freshman classes are first-generation students.

Schaefer said he believes that many universities will maintain their test option policy after the pandemic.

Oklahoma Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan news agency that creates detailed and exploratory content on the various issues facing the state. For more Oklahoma Watch content, go to the following URL: oklahomawatch.org..

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