ACT scores, participation increase in Horry Co.

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Graduating seniors in Horry County have exceeded the state's overall average on the ACT college entrance exam in 2010, according to Horry County School District officials.

Teal Britton, spokeswoman for the district, said college entrance exams completed by 848 students across the county combined for an average composite score of 20.3. The number of test-takers in Horry County increased from 763 in 2009.

"A dramatic growth in student participation is usually accompanied by a downturn in scores, which has not happened in Horry County Schools," according to Britton.

Five schools, including Aynor High School, Carolina Forest High School, Myrtle Beach High School, Socastee High School and the Academy for Arts, Science met or exceeded the national average.

South Carolina education officials reported Wednesday the average statewide score for the Class of 2010 was 20 on a 36-point scale. The number, compared to previous rates, climbed from 19.8 last year. Throughout the past five years, the score has increased from a 19.5.

Eighteen percent of South Carolina's test-takers met college readiness benchmarks in the four core subjects. Nearly 20,000 public and private school graduates took the ACT, just over half of the students who graduated.

The ACT is a test of curriculum-based and classroom-based achievement. The four tests included in the ACT exam include English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. Scores are reported in each of the individual tests, as well as the overall composite.

The Palmetto State remains 1 point below the national average of 21.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.