South Carolina’s 2011 high school graduates posted slightly lower scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than a year ago. At the same time, the percentage of high school students earning college credit in 2011 by passing advanced placement tests increased.
SAT scores dipped for the third consecutive year. The state Board of Education said Wednesday that the class of 2011’s average composite score on the SAT’s reading, writing and math sections was 1436. That’s seven points lower than last year. The national average dipped six points to 1500. The maximum possible score is 2400.
In South Carolina, 85 percent of the nearly 26,500 test –takers attended public schools. The percentage of students passing exams that follow college-level credit courses increased by 10 percent this year. That’s a total increase of 33 percent over the past five years.
“Like the other college admission test, ACT, the SAT is not a measure of school effectiveness,” Superintendent of Education Mick Zais said in a statement, “However, within the student population taking the SAT is another data point confirming a troubling trend: there is a wide reading gap between South Carolina and the nation.”
South Carolina’s district-level scores were not available Wednesday because of a change in how the College Board (the company that runs the test) calculates the scores.
However, there was good news for South Carolina educators, as students’ performance on Advanced Placement tests improved significantly. Students who pass an AP test are usually able to use their high school course for college credit. The number of students receiving a passing AP grade increased by 10.3 percent last year, and has gone up by over 32 percent in the past five years.