More students took the SAT this past school year than ever before and the composite scores dropped slightly. At the same time, Advanced Placement course performance is at a record high.
South Carolina’s score including public, private and home-schooled students dropped five points to 1,447. Nationally, the average score stayed the same, at 1,509. The average score for public school seniors in South Carolina was 1,443, down two points from the previous year. State Superintendent Jim Rex:
Rex says 5.3 percent more students took the test while the national increase was only 2.1 percent.
Just over 36 percent of the state’s SAT takers said they were the first in their families to aim for college.
Leading the state’s increase in participation were Hispanic seniors, up 24.5 percent compared to 7.7 percent nationally. South Carolina’s Hispanic students also significantly outperformed their counterparts nationally on all three parts of the test.
The composite score includes average scores from the three tested areas on the SAT: critical reading, math and writing. The highest possible score is 2,400.
South Carolina public schools continued their improvement on tests associated with Advanced Placement (AP) courses. A total of 15,802 students scored high enough to earn college credit, a 5.6 percent increase over last year’s totals.
The number of AP exams attempted rose 8.8 percent to 28,763, an all-time high.
Rex says over the last five years the number of AP exam takers among South Carolina public school seniors increased by more than 36 percent.
We have more students understanding that high school graduation is no longer sufficient. They’re going to have to go beyond high school to some sort of post-secondary education or training. They’re taking more Advanced Placement courses and SAT exams. That’s all positive news.
The scoring gap between white and African-American students decreased by 11 points on the SAT last year, while the number of AP exam scores qualifying for college credit increased 2.5 percent for African-American students compared to 2.3 percent for white students.