For the first time in the history of , an overall composite score of 25 on the ACT college entrance exam was achieved by seniors who recently graduated.
The comparable score for students throughout the state of Illinois was 20.9, according to Jeff Arnett, chief communications officer for Barrington 220. Meanwhile, the national average was 21.1.
The goal of the ACT exam is to assess educational development and how well a student is prepared for college-level work.
It is now a universal test, and is factored into the Illinois state testing program.
students have steadily increased their scores on the ACT in recent years, from a composite score of 22.9 in 2002 to 24.4 in 2010.
“We have been focusing on early math and reading interventions; additionally, our staff has always focused on improving our curriculum and instructional approaches,” said Steve McWilliams, principal. “Rising test scores are the direct result of these efforts.”
Noticeable gains were made in all four skill areas tested, which include English, math, science and reading, by students in 2011 compared their counterparts in 2010.
English 24.3 25.2
Math 24.5 25.3
Science 24.0 24.6
Reading 24.4 24.6
And McWilliams says these scores are important because they can reflect future success.
“When we look at the scores, it is pretty significant; the ACT is designed to predict how well kids will do in the first year of college and ultimately in the work force,” McWilliams said.
There were 706 students at who took the ACT exam during their junior year, but the entire 2011 graduating class did not.
McWilliams said exceptions are students who are English Language Learners and a small group who have significant impairments and take alternate state exams in place of the ACT.
The state in 2002 began requiring the exam be administered to all students, not including those who are exempt, under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Composite scores of neighboring north suburban high schools have not yet been made available to Barrington 220, according to Arnett.
“For us, it’s really a focus on how we are doing, and we compare to ourselves. When it comes right down to it, the most important thing is that we are moving forward and improving each year,” McWilliams said.
In all, 144,469 Illinois high school students took the ACT test.
“The thing I am most proud of is that we are doing a better job of preparing students for their next choices in life,” McWilliams said.