Drop in ACT score attributed to full participation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Education officials attribute a drop in Tennessee's average score on the ACT exam to more students taking the test.

The Tennessean reports that from 2009 to 2010, Tennessee's composite ACT score dropped from 20.6 to 19.6, ranking it fourth from the bottom of the nation. A perfect score is 36, and the national average is 21.

Dan Long is executive director of the Tennessee Department of Education's Office of Assessment. He says for the first time, the state "tested more students than ever."

The drop, however, comes despite a new curriculum and tougher standards designed to boost the state's standing.

Both the ACT and SAT measure college readiness, and most universities require one on applications. The ACT is used as a qualifier for the state's lottery scholarship.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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