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High School Competency Test (HSCT)

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Use of Communications Results

The HSCT communications section measures students' competence in 11 reading skills. Students have to obtain information, identify facts and opinions, and draw conclusions from a variety of reading selections. These reading passages were carefully designed to ensure that the subject matter is interesting and appropriate for 11th-grade students. The passages reflect writing that students might encounter in school and everyday life, such as a newspaper article on rollerblading, an excerpt from an electronic game manual, information from an encyclopedia describing an Asian country, a selection from a history text, or an excerpt from a biography of Lech Walesa.

Statewide, 89% of the 11th grade students passed the communications section, which is the same percentage of students who passed the communications section in the October 1994 administration of the HSCT. Performance on each of the eleven skills that comprise the communications section was generally high. The number of questions used to measure each skill in the communications section ranges from 4 to 11, and, on average, students selected the wrong answer for one question for each of the skills. The most difficult skill for students was skill 6, which requires students to select answers that represent appropriate conclusions or generalizations for a paragraph. On average, students did not answer correctly approximately two of the eight questions used to measure this skill. 

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