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ACT Says A Quarter Of High Schoolers Are College Ready

The people at ACT, best known for the assesment test taken by many college-bound high schoolers, have finished crunching 2012 numbers and they report that just 25 percent of high schoolers who took the test are college ready.

That means that they have tested proficient in English, reading, math and science. Now, that number may sound like bad news, but US News reports that there's actually good news in the latest numbers:

"Students deemed college-ready in a subject have a 75 percent chance of passing a first-year college course in that area. The nonprofit research and testing organization uses historical testing data to determine the level of expertise students need to succeed in those courses at a college, trade school, or technical school.

"College readiness in English and math has remained largely unchanged for the past five years, but science and math scores increased slightly from 2008 to 2012.

"'To the lay-citizen it would look like 3 points is not much,' says Charles Smith, vice president of strategic communication at ACT. 'The fact that it's trending upward is significant. That's a positive.'"

As Time notes, if you look at it subject-by-subject, the numbers show great weakness in science, where 31 percent met the college benchmark, and were strongest in English, where 67 percent met the benchmark.

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.