To measure whether students are ready for college, the ACT sets minimum scores in a subject area test to indicate a 50% chance of getting a B or higher or about a 75 chance of getting a C or higher in a first-year college credit course. The courses include English composition, algebra, biology and introductory social science courses like Psychology 101.
The ACT report found a combined total of 43% of test-takers met either none (28 percent) or only one (15 percent) of the four college readiness benchmarks.
A record 1.57 million students, or 47% of this year's high school graduates, took the ACT. That's a 30% increase from five years ago.Ethnic and racial minorities this year made up 29% of all ACT test-takers, up from 23% in 2006. Most significant was a near doubling of Hispanic graduates tested, to almost 158,000 students.
The average composite scores for Hispanics dipped slightly to 18.6 this year after holding steady at 18.7 the previous three years.