Ed Week reports:
To determine readiness, students were assigned a STEM score based on combined results from their ACT math and science tests. ACT test scores range from 1 to 36. A student earning at least the benchmark score of 26 has a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher in first-year college STEM courses, and a 75 percent chance of earning a C or higher, according to the report. The student is also more likely to stick it out with a STEM major and earn a bachelor's degree.
The report revealed that just 18 percent of females, compared to 24 percent of males, earned a score of 26.
The disparity is even larger among students with an interest in STEM: 22 percent of females earned a score of 26 compared to 31 percent of males. Even more surprising, females interested in STEM were less likely than all males (including those with or without an interest in STEM) to meet or surpass that benchmark score (22 percent versus 24 percent). Meanwhile, the overall level of interest in STEM between females and males is nearly equal at 47 percent versus 50 percent, respectively.The source of the data is from the 2 million students who took the ACT in 2017.