SC Department of Education Releases Results of 11th Grade ACT Assessment

SC Department of Education Releases Results of 11th Grade ACT Assessment


The South Carolina Department of Education released statewide public school results for the ACT, a college readiness assessment taken by all 11th grade high school students in the spring of the 2016-2017 school year. School districts that chose to give the ACT online experienced significant technical difficulties attributed to ACT's online testing system. The online testing system resulted in delayed reporting and questions about the validity of scores.

“I do not feel that the scores we release today are an accurate portrayal of the abilities of many of our students ," said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. "The online administration was mired with ACT system failures that led to canceled and inaccurate score reporting. I remain deeply concerned and hope that we can work with ACT to prevent these issues in the future."

On May 15, 2017, ACT, Inc. communicated the following to all districts: “Some students experienced technical issues during the online administration of the ACT. These issues may have created disruptions or distractions, altered the timing of the tests, led students to change their test-taking strategy, or had other impacts. The scores from an administration where technical problems occurred may not be an accurate reflection of a student’s knowledge or skills. Technical issues that occurred during online testing may have compromised the validity of some student scores.”

Over half of South Carolina's school districts, encompassing approximately 25,000 students, tested online during the 2016-2017 administration of the ACT. Of the school districts that tested online, 96% reported having technical difficulties that have largely been attributed to ACT's inadequate online testing system. Technical difficulties ranged in nature from small glitches to significant errors that shut down the entire testing process in some schools.

The ACT is a standardized timed college readiness assessment whose benchmarks show how prepared test takers are for entering a four year college or university. According to ACT, the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are scores that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing courses.The ACT assessment was administered to all 11th graders for the first time in 2015.

During the SC General Assembly’s past legislative session, the General Assembly passed and the Governor signed into law, Act 94, which provides that beginning in 2017-2018, all eleventh graders must be offered the option of taking either the ACT or the SAT college readiness assessments. Additionally, as funds are available, the state will provide all students the opportunity to take or retake a college readiness assessment, career readiness assessment, and/or earn industry credentials or certifications in the twelfth grade at no cost to the student or parent.

A total of 343 students achieved a maximum scale score of 36 on one or more of the ACT subject tests. Eighteen students scored high enough in every subject to earn a score of 36 on the composite scale, as well. These students along with those that scored Platinum on WorkKeys will be honored by Superintendent Spearman.

State, School District, and School Level Data for the ACT assessment can be accessed by visiting this link

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