New Test Scores Show Most SC Students Not College-Ready

New test results released Friday show that the majority of South Carolina 11th graders are not ready for college or a career. The state Department of Education released the results of the ACT, ACT Aspire, and SCPASS tests given last spring.

In English, 61.3 percent of students tested “not ready.” In math, it was 78.4 percent.  On the reading test, 74.2 percent tested “not ready.” The science scores were the worst, with 82.1 percent “not ready.”

The ACT Aspire test was given to students in grades 3 through 8, testing them on English, math, reading, and writing. Students did best on the English test, with 65.1 percent of 3rd graders testing “Ready or Above” and 70.8 percent of 8th graders.

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman says, “It is important to note that Aspire and ACT were administered for the first time in our state. District staff, principals, teachers, and parents must all work together to ensure our students are college- and career-ready, and I have great confidence that we’re headed in the right direction.”

Melanie Barton, executive director of the Education Oversight Committee, says, “The results of the ACT, ACT Aspire tell us in South Carolina that we have a long way to go in getting all kids college- and career-ready. We’re struggling especially in reading and mathematical skills and we really need to start focusing on, especially in the high school years, what students need to be able to take, as far as course selection, the rigor, and just to really help students and parents plan for their future.”

Deloris Richardson, whose daughter took the ACT test last spring and did much better than the state average, says, “I think it makes you think that you’ve got to stay on your child every day. And I stay on mine. Every evening, you know, did you do your homework? In the summer when they send out reading lists, we’re there at the library. You’ve got to stay on it. The school can’t do it by itself.”

Barton says the fact that so many students aren’t ready for college will likely cost them, or their parents, a lot more money. “Because if our children aren’t ready for that two- or four-year degree and they go in, they have to take remedial courses, or they take longer than four years to complete their degree, that costs mom and dad and the students loan money and tuition payments.”

You can see all the test results at

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