RU students do well on ACT, despite national low scores
By Kevinisha Walker
Despite the American College Testing’s report that scores have fallen in recent years, Roosevelt University students perform well on the testing giant’s exams. However, for Illinois in particular, ACT reports that only a quarter of 2013 graduates were considered ready for freshman courses.
Roosevelt’s students disprove that theory, as many of them score between 20 and 25 on the ACT, according to Roosevelt’s State of the Union report.
According to ACT’s website, ACT considers the scores students get on each section of the test when determining whether students are college-ready. The sections include English, math, reading and science — which all amount to 18, 22, 22 and 23, respectively, when it comes to ACT’s college-ready standards.
If some of the university’s freshmen score a maximum composite score of 25, some might argue that they perform better than freshmen from other institutions when it comes to ACT’s standards. In fact, their scores are better than the average composite score for Illinois test takers which is 20.6, according to ACT’s website.
The state also goes against ACT’s report. As reported in the Chicago Tribune, “the state said about 46 percent of those same grads [quarter of Illinois’s 2013 graduates] were ready for college coursework.”
The discrepancy comes down to the ways in which the state and ACT analyze scores.
ACT uses “benchmarks” or scores from all four sections of the test, while Illinois bases its college-readiness figures off of how many students score at least a 21 on the exam.
Tribune analysis finds that “the state’s college-readiness figures are higher than ACT’s calculations, creating a brighter picture of college preparedness.”
While the Chicago Tribune finds that to be true, the question is: Do college admissions officers place heavy emphasis on ACT scores?
Roosevelt’s admissions staff said they base admissions decisions on much more than just ACT scores.
“File review for each student is thorough and takes into account such items as the student’s intended major, program of study at their high school or previous college, grade point average, standardized test scores, class rank, interviews and recommendation letters,” Associate Director of Admissions Victor Sanchez said in an email.
When it comes to grade point averages and standardized test scores, students are considered for acceptance at Roosevelt if they have a 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale and an ACT score of at least 18.
“But these guidelines for admission are simply that, guidelines, and not intended to be hard and fast rules,” Sanchez said.
Although some argue that ACT results indicate whether students will succeed in college, others argue that the exam does not determine success or failure in college.
Sophomore Dhurata Azemi scored a 27 on the exam and says the score is not all it’s meant to be.
While her score surpasses not only Roosevelt students’ average score but the national average score—which is 21— she believes that her score doesn’t determine how well she does in college.
“I think [ACT] is kind of unfair because as far as studies go, someone could do really well in school and not be a good test taker,” Azemi said. “They put so much emphasis on those scores when it comes to getting into colleges that I don’t really think they give students a fair chance of getting into schools based on what they get on the test.”