Both Riverside-Brookfield High School and Lyons Township High School reported new highs in ACT test scores this year and, as usual, far exceeded state averages. 

At RBHS the average ACT score for the class of 2015 jumped to 23.3, an increase of nearly a point from the 22.5 average score for the Class of 2014. 

The 23.3 average score for the class of 2015 was the highest average score in at least four years at RBHS, said principal Kristin Smetana.

The LTHS Class of 2015 set a school record with an average ACT score of 24.3. The state average composite ACT score for 2015 graduates was 20.7.

“High expectations and rigorous standards across the entire curriculum continue to prepare LT students for college and beyond,” said LTHS District 204 Superintendent Tim Kilrea in a press release. “Our students and staff should be proud of their efforts and their continued level of success on the ACT.”

At RBHS, 69.2 percent 2015 seniors hit the minimum college readiness score of 21 set by the ACT, an increase of 10 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, 86 percent of RBHS students met or exceeded the ACT readiness score of 18 in English, 62 percent met the mark of 22 in math and 58 percent hit the readiness score of 23 in science.

RBHS is working to boost its ACT scores by giving seniors who have not met growth benchmarks an opportunity to participate in nine free ACT test prep sessions before the Oct. 24 ACT test date. 

It is also trying to boost students’ vocabulary by pre- and post-testing and by having a schoolwide word of the day. Teachers are continuing to incorporate ACT-style questions in their classroom exams.

In Advanced Placement testing, the number of RBHS students who received scores of 3 or above, necessary for college credit, dropped slightly to 70.4 percent in 2015 from 73.7 percent in 2014. 

But Smetana said that the Class of 2015 took the most AP exams in school history, so the slight drop in passing exams was not unexpected. Thirty-nine more students took AP exams last year, and 170 more AP exams were taken by students last year at RBHS compared to the 2013-14 school year.

A total of 1,249 AP exams were taken by RBHS students last year and 64 percent of those exams earned a passing score of three or above. AP Chemistry was a bright spot at last year, as the pass rate on that exam skyrocketed 40 points to 96 percent, up from 56 percent in 2014. AP Biology also did much better last year at RB with its pass rate more than doubling to 72 percent, up from 34 percent in 2014.  

Twenty-nine percent of juniors at RBHS last year passed an AP Exam last year, while 19 percent of RB sophomores passed an AP Exam.

More students are taking AP classes at LTHS as well. For the sixth consecutive year, more students took AP tests in 2015 than in any time in LT history. 

Since 1998 LTHS has more than quadrupled the number of students taking AP classes and the number of AP exams taken. Almost half of the graduating class of 2015 took at least one AP test and scored a 3 or higher. 

In total, 990 students took 2,273 AP exams last year at LTHS. Twenty-eight percent of the AP tests taken earned the highest score of a 5 and 61 percent of tests taken scored a 4 or above. In addition, 88 percent of tests scored a 3 or higher. 

Despite 625 more tests being taken, the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher was only 5 percent lower than last year. 

 “The district is committed to encouraging students to access the AP curriculum,” LT Director of Curriculum Scott Eggerding said in a press release. “Even as the amount of tests administered climbs, the percent of tests earning passing scores remains relatively constant, which is a testament to the quality or our program and impressive work of our students and teachers.”