About 60 percent of the U.S. students who took the ACT college entrance exam this year appear unprepared for college, the exam's publisher said.
ACT, an acronym for American College Testing, has devised four benchmarks of readiness for college and work in English, mathematics, reading and science. Students who meet the benchmark scores have a 75 percent chance of a C and 50 percent chance of a B in a first-year college course in the subject.
This year, 28 percent of the students who took the test did not meet any of the four benchmarks, 15 percent met only one and 17 percent two. ACT considers meeting at least three of the benchmarks a sign a student is prepared for college.
Only 25 percent of the test-takers met all four.
A record 52 percent of this year's graduating class took the ACT.
"Far too many high school graduates are still falling short academically," said ACT Chief Executive Officer Jon Whitmore. "We need to do more to ensure that our young people improve. The advanced global economy requires American students to perform at their highest level to compete in the future job market and maintain the long-term economic security of the U.S."