College Entrance Exams - ACT

How well do Core-Plus students perform on the ACT?

On the ACT Mathematics test, students completing Core-Plus mathematics field-test courses performed as well as students in traditional mathematics curricula.

The 2,944 CPMP and 527 traditional students in the original CPMP field-test sample had nearly identical average scores on the ITED-Q pretest administered at the beginning of Grade 9. ACT scores were available from a reasonably large subset of these students, and their average ACT Mathematics and ACT Composite scores are given in Table 1. There is no significant difference (0.05 level) between the CPMP and traditional averages (means) for either the Mathematics or Composite score.

Table 1

ACT Mathematics ACT Composite
Group Number of Students Average Average
CPMP 531 19.2 20.4
Traditional 111 19.8 20.3

In one school district at the beginning of the CPMP field test (Fall 1994), all ninth-grade students in the two CPMP field-test schools who qualified for remedial mathematics through algebra were randomly assigned by computer to CPMP Course 1 or to the appropriate traditional course. Many of these students completed Advanced Algebra or CPMP Course 3 in their junior year and took the ACT either in spring or summer of their junior year or in fall of their senior year. The average sixth-grade CAT Mathematics percentiles for the CPMP students and those in the traditional curriculum are similar as shown in Table 2, so these two groups were well-matched on mathematical achievement prior to high school. They learned mathematics in the same schools and sometimes from some of the same teachers. The only apparent systematic difference was the curriculum. For this set of students, the average ACT Math scores for the CPMP group is almost identical to that of the traditional group. The average ACT Composite score for the CPMP group is greater than that of the traditional group, but the difference is not statistically significant at the 0.05 level.

Table 2

CAT Math Percentile ACT Mathematics ACT Composite
Group Number of Students Average Average Average
CPMP 71 66.3 18.3 20.3
Traditional 42 68.5 18.4 19.1

The results in Tables 1 and 2 are illustrated in the following graph.

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