ACT, ACT WorkKeys to be administered free to Kansas high school juniors

Every Kansas high school junior will be able to take the ACT college entrance exam and ACT WorkKeys assessments free of charge during the coming school year.

The tests, which are optional, are free because of funding provided by the Kansas Legislature in the new school finance plan. The Kansas State Department of Education reported Wednesday that Kansas is now the 19th state to provide the ACT for students,

The ACT exam, which tests English, math, reading and science to gauge a student’s readiness for college, usually costs about $50 with an optional writing portion. The free test will be administered statewide on Wed., Feb. 20, 2019.

The ACT WorkKeys assessments measure workplace skills. Every junior in Kansas will have the opportunity to earn an ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate, which encompasses three assessments — ACT WorkKeys applied math; ACT WorkKeys workplace documents; and ACT WorkKeys graphic literacy. The free WorkKeys assessment will be administered statewide Thur., Feb. 21, 2019.

Last year, the percentage of Kansas high school graduates who took the ACT and scored at the college-ready benchmark on all four subjects dropped to 29 percent, down from 32 percent in 2013, but still ahead of the national average of 27 percent.

The average composite ACT score for Kansas was 21.7 percent, which is higher than the national average of 21.0 percent.

Most college-bound students in Kansas take the ACT test. Kansas tested an estimated 73 percent of graduates last year.

For a further analysis of last year’s ACT results, go here.

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