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Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic High School Students Show Gains on Overall ACT® Scores All Scores Above State Average

The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools announced today that the average for the 6,112 Catholic high school students who took the ACT test in 2010 showed gains in the overall composite scores, as well as in its English and Science sections. The average composite score for Catholic high school students in the Archdiocese is 22.8, which is a 0.1 point improvement over its own performance last year, and 2.1 points above the State of Illinois’ average. On the English section, students are 3.2 points ahead of the State average, with 84% demonstrating college-readiness in that subject. In the Science section, Catholic high school students scored an average of 22.2, which is a 0.2 point improvement over last year, and 1.7 points above the State average.

While Math and Reading scores remained even against last year, all scores continue to be above the average for the State. Specifically, Math is 1.2 points above and Reading is 2.2 points above.

Over 98% of Catholic high school seniors graduate, and the 6,112 students who took the ACT represents 94% of all seniors across the 40 high schools in the Archdiocese.

“The schools are challenging themselves to assist each student to be college-ready. Whether or not a young man or woman chooses college, we cannot close off that option. Challenges for the brightest and assistance for those who struggle are both a matter of justice,” notes Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “Our principals, presidents and their teachers are committed to continual improvement and our parents expect it.”

The ACT test assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. Across the country, 1.4 million high school students annually take the ACT test, usually in the fall of their senior year. Students answer 315 questions in the four subject categories. The top score possible in the multiple-choice section of the test is 36.

For more information about local test results, or to locate a Catholic elementary or high school in Cook or Lake Counties, please visit

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