Information Brief 2013-20

Social Sciences Courses Taken and ACT College Readiness Benchmark Performance in Reading

As part of a core curriculum, ACT recommends that students complete three or more years of social sciences courses. Seventy-five percent of 2012 ACT-tested high school graduates took at least three years of social sciences courses.

A greater percentage of students who took three years of history met the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in Reading (44% who completed US history, world history, and American government, and 51% who completed some other combination of three or three-and-a-half years) compared to those with less than three years of history(40%).

However, students who completed at least four years of history had the highest Benchmark performance: 59% of students who completed history, world history, American history, and another history and 56% of students who took some other combination of four years or more of history.

Percent Meeting the Reading Benchmark by Social Sciences Courses Taken

Social Sciences CoursesStudents Meeting Reading Benchmark
History, world history, American history, and other history59%
Other combination of 4 or more years56%
US history, world history, and American government44%
Other combination of 3 or 3.5 years51%
Less than 3 years40%
No years reported29%

Note: Data are based on 1,666,017 ACT-tested 2012 high school graduates.


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