Nevada’s ACT test-takers score above average

LAS VEGAS — Nevada’s Class of 2014 scored higher than the national average in the English, reading and math sections of the ACT exam, although only about one-third of graduates took the test.

A report released this week showed Nevada test-takers earned an average composite score of 21.2 on a 36-point scale that combines scores for English, reading, math and science subtests. That’s slightly above the national average composite score of 21.

The report classified 26 percent of Nevada test-takers as “college ready” in all four subjects. That’s the same as the national average.

Nevada’s results are artificially high because only the more high-achieving students are participating, according to state officials.

ACT test organizers said about 36 percent of Nevada graduates were tested in 2014. The rate is up 16 percent from five years ago, but still far behind other states that test nearly all graduates.

Nevada plans to follow the lead of other states and administer the test to all high school juniors next year. The move comes after the Legislature passed a bill in 2013 mandating that all juniors take a “college and readiness” exam in addition to year-end proficiency tests.

The Nevada Board of Education has set aside a $2 million budget to pay for the exam for more than 35,000 students. State money will foot half the bill for the ACT, while Nevada’s 17 school districts will carry the other half.

Officials said the widespread testing will give the state a better picture of whether students are ready for college, and will make it easier and cheaper for students who are on the fence about college to apply and enroll.

“This is a really big step for Nevada to provide a statewide test for 35,000 students,” Erquiaga told the Las Vegas Sun last month. “This is really great for Nevada families.”


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