Scores don't rise, but more Tenn. students are taking entrance exam

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A record 96 percent of Tennessee high school graduates took the ACT college entrance exam this year.

An ACT spokesman says Tennessee bucked a trend because the scores didn't fall, either.

Ed Colby says when more students take the exam, it's likely to cause the average score to fall or, at best, remain stable.

Over five years, Tennessee students' scores have been inching up, even as an increasing number of students are taking the test. Colby calls that "really encouraging."

In the last two years, Tennessee students have scored an average composite of 20-point-7. The exam measures knowledge in English, math, reading and science.

This year's national average ACT score was 21-point-2.

Tennessee Higher Education Commission executive director Rich Rhoda says lottery could be driving students to take the test. It's a requirement to receive scholarships funded by the Tennessee Lottery.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)