MYRTLE BEACH — Horry County’s average composite score on the 2013 ACT college entrance exam increased over the previous year’s score by the biggest margin in the school district’s history, officials said.
“I am so proud of our students and our teachers for their outstanding performance on this gatekeeper test for college,” Horry County Schools Superintendent Cindy Elsberry said of the test scores released early Wednesday. “Performance on the ACT is an undisputed measure of the quality education students are receiving in the Horry County Schools.”
The district’s composite score increased six-tenths of a point to 20.8, coming in one-tenth of a point below the national average of 20.9 and exceeding the state’s composite score of 20.4.
Socastee, St. James, Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach high schools scored higher than the national average, and HCS Early College High School and the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology tied with the national composite score.
Georgetown County schools also made gains with their ACT scores, which were released Wednesday.
The ACT and the SAT are two measurements for college entrance, and all S.C. colleges and universities accept either score for admission. The ACT consists of four tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, and has a maximum score of 36 points.
Average composite scores for all students are:
• National | 20.9, down 0.2 points from 2012
• South Carolina | 20.4, up 0.2 points from 2012; participation decreased by 274 students.
• Horry County | 20.8, up from 20.2 in 2012; participation increased by 55 students.
• Georgetown County | 19.2, up from 18.8 in 2012; participation decreased by 77 students.
The increased scores indicate that both school districts are doing a better job of preparing students for college, as measured by the ACT.
Georgetown schools made gains in English, math and reading, while remaining the same in science. Waccamaw High School exceeded the state composite score; Andrews High School saw gains in all areas from 2012; and Georgetown High School remained the same overall.
“Our schools’ counselors are doing a better job of directing students to take the appropriate exams for the colleges they are planning to attend,” said Patti Hammel, executive director for student performance and federal programs. “We feel we will continue to have accelerated scores with the curriculum correlations with Common Core standards. Students are doing a better job of developing deeper understandings in all content areas. We are very pleased with our increases.”
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.