2017 senior class score above average on ACT exams

BCSD seniors outperform on 2017 ACT exams
Posted on 09/07/2017
Sample ACT entrance exam

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 7, 2017

District seniors outperform state averages
on 2017 ACT college entrance exams

BEAUFORT – Beaufort County School District seniors in the Class of 2017 scored above South Carolina public school averages on ACT college entrance exam results released today.

The composite 2017 ACT average for all Beaufort County School District seniors was 18.6, down slightly from 18.7 in 2016.  The composite average for South Carolina public school seniors was 18.4, up slightly from 18.2 last year.

Beaufort County seniors’ average ACT score ranked 12th out of 82 districts statewide.

Beaufort County School District averages were also higher than state public school averages in all four individual ACT exams used to determine composite scores.  Beaufort County School District seniors’ average scores on individual ACT exams were 17.3 (state average 17.1) in English; 18.6 (state average 18.5) in Math; 19.1 (state average 18.9) in Reading; and 18.9 (state average 18.7) in Science.

The ACT is a group of curriculum-based achievement exams designed to measure the academic skills taught in schools and deemed important for success in first-year college courses.  Scores range from a low of one to a high of 36.

Historically in South Carolina, the decision to take the ACT was optional for high school students.  But in 2014 the General Assembly approved mandatory testing for all 11th-graders, so those students now take the test regardless of whether they plan to attend college.  They do not have to pass to receive a high school diploma.

ACT scores were reported for 591 Beaufort County School District seniors in 2015, but with the new statewide requirement in place, scores were reported for 1,369 seniors in 2017. Like other states with similar requirements, South Carolina has seen declines in average ACT scores reported for seniors because all of them – not just those who elected to take the test for college admission purposes – took the ACT as juniors.   

“While we’re encouraged that Beaufort County seniors’ ACT scores are above the state average, our goal is to exceed the national average,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. 

Average scores for 2017 seniors at Beaufort County School District high schools were:

  • Battery Creek – 16.9, up from 16.4 last year.
  • Beaufort –19.3, up from 19 last year.
  • Bluffton – 18.7, down from 19.3 last year.
  • Hilton Head Island – 19.7, up from 19.5 last year.
  • Whale Branch Early College – 16.0, down from 16.5 last year.
  • May River – 19.7 (new school with no scores reported last year).

Moss stressed the importance of high school students taking courses recommended by both the ACT and SAT.  Those courses include four years of English; three or more years of mathematics, including algebra I and II and geometry; three or more years of social studies, including American history and government and world history; and three or more years of natural sciences, such as general, physical and earth science, biology, chemistry and physics.