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Are you smarter than a homeschooler?

For a decade now, the composite score on the ACT college entrance exam for homeschooled students has been higher than the national average – and the 2006 statistics, the most recent available, show the trend continuing, according to a report.

The Home School Legal Defense Association said the 2006 scores for homeschooled students averaged 22.4, compared to the national average composite of 21.1.

A year earlier, the average for homeschoolers was 22.5, compared to the national average that includes public and private school students of 20.9.

“Now homeschoolers have an unbroken record for the last 10 years – since 1996, when testing officials started tracking them – of scoring higher on the ACT than the national average,” the world’s premiere home-school advocacy group said.

There were 8,075 homeschool graduates who took the ACT in 2005, which made up about 1 percent of all those who took the exam, officials said.

The 2006 results showed that homeschoolers averaged 22.5 in English, compared to the national average of 20.3. In math, homeschoolers averaged 19.2 compared to the national average of 20.2. In reading the scores were 24.1 for homeschoolers and 21.3 for others, and in science, homeschoolers scored 21.9, compared to 21.1.

According to the 1998 ACT High School Profile Report, 2,610 homeschoolers took the ACT and scored an average of 22.8 out of a possible 36 points. This score was just slightly higher than the 1997 report on 1,926 homeschoolers, who averaged 22.5 in scores compared to the national average of 21.0 for both 1997 and 1998.

Just four years ago, Iowa State University’s admissions department data showed that homeschoolers had a 26.1 mean ACT composite score, as compared to a 24.6 mean score for all entering freshman. The cumulative admissions data from the University of Northern Iowa revealed that the average ACT score for homeschoolers was nearly two points higher than that for regular freshmen, 25 versus 23.5, the HSLDA said.

Since 1985, research consistently shows that homeschoolers on average do better than the national average on standardized achievement tests for the elementary and secondary grade levels, the HSLDA said.

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