NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Home Schoolers Outperform Peers On A.C.T.

August 22, 2000

For the third year in a row, students who studied at home achieved higher scores on the American College Test (ACT) than those who attended regular schools.

  • While the average score on the ACT -- the alternative entrance exam to the SAT -- was 21 nationally out of a possible 36, children taught at home averaged 22.8.
  • On the 1998 and 1999 test, traditionally-educated students scored 21 in both years -- compared to 22.8 and 22.7 for the home-schooled.
  • ACT-tested graduates reporting themselves as home-schooled numbered 4,593 in 2000, a 41-percent increase.

Overall, New Hampshire and Oregon students posted the highest 2000 ACT scores -- while the lowest were recorded in Mississippi and the District of Columbia.

ACT officials said that this year's results showed that students were taking more rigorous course work in preparation for college.

"Ten years ago, fewer than half the graduates reported taking what we call 'core curriculum,'" ACT president Richard Ferguson stated. "This year's graduates set a record in core-course participation, with slightly more that 63 percent reporting that they took a full complement of courses."

Source: Andrea Billups, "Home Schoolers No. 1 on College-Entrance Test," Washington Times, August 22, 2000.

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