The Class of 2012 at once again turned in excellent performances on the ACT college entrance exam, according to a report presented at the New Trier Township High School District 203 school board July 16.
“When 83 percent of the class is in the top 26 percent of the country, that’s an incredible statistic,” said Paul Sally, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Challenges of High ACT Scores
It’s also a statistic that brings its own challenges to , which has campuses in and
“We have to make sure kids feel like they are successful and achieving in the midst of a high-achieving community,” Sally said.
Among the Class of 2012, 999 students took the ACT and received an average best score of 27.9. The students’ average score on the last test they took was 27.4; that’s the number ACT uses for its analyses, Sally said.
The district learned a lot from the pattern of students taking multiple tests.
“What’s the best time to take your first ACT and what’s the optimal number of times to take the ACT?” Sally said. “We can safely say that taking the ACT a second time is going to be helpful. It’s much harder when we see three and four and five (tests). … You learn a lot from taking the first test.”
Most of the Class of 2012 took the ACT three or fewer times. Every student takes it at least once in April of junior year as part of the Prairie State Achievement Exam.
Non-AP Students Performed Well, too
Areas of the report that Sally highlighted were the high scores of students who did not take Advanced Placement classes in English and math.
Sally said the school’s curriculum helps students exceed expectations on the ACT.
Nearly 60 percent of New Trier students exceeded the range of ACT scores published by ACT. The expected range of ACT scores is based on the PLAN test, a pre-ACT that is given in October of sophomore year.
“When you look at the kids who do not take an AP class in English and math, the scores are incredibly high,” he said. “It just speaks to the rigor of the curriculum that we have.”
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