WALKER COUNTY, Ala (WBMA) — The state of Alabama has reported its lowest ACT test scores in seven years. Some educators said it's another example of learning loss following the COVID-19 pandemic.
40 minutes per day, students at Cordova High School prep for the ACT. On Tuesdays, they focus on the English section of the test.
"If you were playing a sport, you wouldn't think that you could just go straight to the SEC or NBA or NFL and have never prepped. You have to have some prep," teacher Susan Walton said.
Walton has taught an ACT prep course for five years at the high school, working with sophomores and juniors.
"For them, that ACT is important because one, it's attached to scholarship money," she said. "Its also attached to admission to certain programs."
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According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the state's class of 2022 scores are the lowest since 2015.
Compared to the class of 2021, Alabama public high school graduates’ average score dropped by almost a point from 18.6 to 17.7.
Looking at data for Cordova High School, you can see the average score from year to year. In 2021, the average score was an 18. In 2022, it dropped to a 15.76.
"I lost a lot of motivation first when it happened," Peyton Clingan said.
Students admitted the pandemic had an effect.
"That like one year during COVID not many people, when it was virtual and all, I guess didn't take school serious," Zac Windham said.
Windham is now a junior and is back in the classroom, focused on getting the score he wants.
"I felt like going through it this year helped my score a little bit because our teachers have really been more involved in it than last year and they've been really serious about it trying to improve our scores," he said.
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Walton believes they're back on course to improve scores.
"Many of them do want that good act score," she said, "So I believe, this year I feel like they have really worked hard to improve those scores."
ACT test scores for the class of 2023 haven't been released.
Walton says in addition to daily ACT prep, the students receive two days of intensive work with Henson Test Prep.
You can view scores for every school system here.