More San Diego high school students taking ACT test. Here’s how - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

More San Diego high school students taking ACT test. Here’s how they did

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by Megan Wood, inewsource

The number of high school seniors taking the ACT exam in San Diego County has increased more than 25 percent over the past five years.

High school counselors have always encouraged students to take both the ACT and SAT tests before graduating from high school, county officials say. Yet, in 2016, there was a 9 percent increase in ACT tests taken compared to a 2 percent decrease for the SAT.

Overall, 10,162 high school seniors took ACT tests last year in the county. Of those, 65 percent earned a passing score of 21 or higher based on a 1 through 36 scale. The statewide average is 57 percent.

Like the SAT, ACT scores are used for college admission and scholarships. The main difference between the two tests is the ACT’s additional science section to test critical thinking.

State data shows 18,078 students in San Diego County took the SAT test last year and 49 percent passed.


Rachel Bronwyn, a teacher at Orange Glen High School in Escondido, said her students take both tests so they can submit the best score to colleges.

She said certain students, however, “tend to do better on the ACT because the ACT is linked to subject areas.”

As part of our ongoing reporting on state test score data, inewsource created a searchable database for parents, teachers and students to compare ACT test results, along with AP and SAT scores, for their school.

San Diego County schools with the highest percent of students meeting or exceeding a score of 21 on the ACT:

  • River Valley Charter (Lakeside Union Elementary School District) — 100%
  • Canyon Crest Academy (San Dieguito Union High School District) — 95.40%
  • Torrey Pines High (San Dieguito Union High) — 93.09%
  • Grossmont Middle College High (Grossmont Union High School District) — 91.67%
  • Del Norte High (Poway Unified School District) — 87.55%

San Diego County schools with the lowest percent of students meeting or exceeding a score of 21 on the ACT:

  • The O’Farrell Charter (San Diego Unified School District) — 22.89%
  • San Ysidro High (Sweetwater Union High School District) — 22.88%
  • San Diego Metro Career and Tech (San Diego Unified) — 20%
  • Crawford High (San Diego Unified) — 13.46%
  • Gompers Preparatory Academy (San Diego Unified) — 5.08%

inewsource reporter Brandon Quester contributed to this report.

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Read additional stories on the inewsource.org website.

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