AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) - A record-setting number of Texas high school students took the ACT college admissions test this year, according to new data released by the Texas Education Agency.
Hispanic students played a big part in the increase. Their numbers doubled throughout the past five years.
Some 110,180 Texas students took the ACT this year, a 39 percent increase from 2008. The national number in that same time period bumped up only 17 percent.
The growth in Texas was particularly strong for two student groups. The number of Hispanic students who took the ACT rose from 20,198 in 2008 to 40,827 in 2012. The number of Asian students in Texas who took the exam rose from 2,897 to 4,746 during this five-year period.
The top 10 Texas universities being sent scores by ACT test takers are, in descending order:
- Texas A&M University – College Station
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Texas Tech University
- Texas State University
- Baylor University
- The University of Texas at San Antonio
- The University of Texas – Pan American
- University of North Texas
- University of Houston – Main Campus
- Texas Christian University
Still, test scores did not parallel the increase in participation. The composite score for Texas students this year was 20.8, the same as the past four years and slightly lower than the national average. A perfect score on the ACT is 36.
Scores released Tuesday show Texas students had an average composite score of 20.8 out of a possible 32, the same as last year. This year's national average composite score was 21.1.
Texas students scored an average of 19.6 in English, the same as last year, and 21.4 in math, down from 21.5 in 2011.
The average science score was the same both years at 20.9, while the 2012 composite score in reading ticked up from 20.7 to 20.8.
The percentage of Texas students taking the ACT was 39 percent, up 3 percentage points from 2011. Nationwide, 52 percent of high school students took the ACT — including nine states where all students take it.
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