Students at Clover, Northwestern and Fort Mill high schools beat the statewide average this year on the ACT college entrance exam, according to test results.
Clover and Fort Mill also exceeded the national average and Northwestern tied it.
The ACT, which has gained popularity each year, is sometimes used in place of the SAT. South Carolina public schools accept both the ACT and the SAT.
Composite scores went up between one-tenth and nine-tenths of a point in each York County district.
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The ACT considers any change larger than .05 statistically significant. One-tenth of an ACT point is comparable to four points on the SAT.
The ACT is more curriculum-based while the SAT involves more reasoning.
The test is made up of four sections -- English, math, reading and science. There also is an optional writing section that is not included in the composite score.
Harriet Jaworowski, an associate superintendent in the Rock Hill district, said the scores are helpful because they allow district officials to compare their students to other students of a similar age and educational level across the nation.
"It gives us a good indicator of how we're doing in a broader sense," she said. "We know how we're doing in a state sense, but we need something beyond that. Our students are not only going to compete in South Carolina. They may go out of state for school or jobs. They have to be able to compete with students all over the country."
ACT scores by district
School 2006 Score 2007 Score
York Comprehensive High 18.2 19.1
Clover High 21.4 21.8
Northwestern High 20.7 21.2
Rock Hill High 18.2 18.5
Fort Mill High 21.6 21.7
Statewide 19.5 19.6
National 21.1 21.2