Question of the Day

College Readiness

What portion of high school graduates who took the ACT college readiness exam in 2021 met the test's benchmarks for college readiness in all four subjects (English, reading, math, and science)?

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In 2021, 38% of high school students who graduated took the ACT college readiness exam, a decline from 52% in 2019 before the Covid pandemic. Among this select group of students, 25% met the exam's college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects (English, reading, math, and science). By racial group, the portion of ACT test-takers who met the benchmarks in at least three subjects ranged from 52% for Asians (down from 62% in 2019) to 6% for African Americans (down from 11% in 2019). Other evidence indicates that government reactions to Covid-19 have caused major declines in educational attainment. For example, a study published in 2020 by the journal JAMA Network Open estimated that decisions to close U.S. elementary schools will ultimately shorten the lives of children aged 5-11 by 2.5-42.1 million years due to the effects of "decreased educational attainment."

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