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Sep 25

Virginia Students Continue with SAT Success

Virginia’s 2012 public school graduates outperformed  their peers nationwide on the SAT college-admissions test, according to results  released September 24th by the College Board.
  • The average reading score of 508 for Virginia  public school students is 17 points higher than the national average.
  • The average mathematics score of 510 for  Virginia public school students is five points higher.
  • The average writing score of 492 for Virginia  public school students is 11 points higher.

In addition, Virginia public school students in  all ethnic groups that the College Board reports, – American Indian, Asian, African  American, Hispanic and White – outperformed their peers nationwide on all three  SAT subsections.

2012 SAT Virginia Public School Mean Scores

                    Group

Critical Reading

Mathematics

Writing

Virginia

Nation

Virginia

Nation

Virginia

Nation

All Public School Students

508

491

510

505

492

481

American Indian

502

479

493

485

481

458

Asian

536

519

579

573

537

522

Black

432

424

427

425

417

412

Hispanic

486

443

489

458

474

437

White

535

523

535

533

516

508

The College Board also reported that four out  of every 10 Virginia public school 2012 graduates who took the SAT were members  of a minority group, which reflects the commonwealth’s racial and ethnic  diversity. Sixteen percent (8,778 students) of public school SAT takers  reported that English is not exclusively their first language. Additionally, 32  percent reported their parents’ highest level of education as a high school  diploma or less.

A total of 53,806 public school graduates in  the state took the SAT – a slight increase in participation over the previous  year’s 53,457 public school participants. In all, 68 percent of the state’s  public school graduates in 2012 took the SAT.

“As  with the mathematics standards, Virginia’s new English standards require  students to demonstrate their ability to reason, draw conclusions and defend  their responses,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said.  “These are the very critical-thinking and higher-level reasoning skills  students must have for success on today’s SAT.”

Virginia students were tested for the first time in 2011-2012 on  the revised and more rigorous mathematics standards that the Board of Education  approved in 2009. This school year, new  English assessments – based on college and career ready standards approved by  the board in 2010 – will be implemented.

“By incorporating more rigorous and  challenging standards in all subjects we are preparing our students with  21st-century skills,” Board of Education President David M. Foster said. “The  board takes seriously its duty to ensure that students graduating from a  Virginia public school are prepared to succeed in college and the workplace.”

The average scores for 2012 Virginia public  school graduates rose three points in mathematics, dropped by one point in  critical reading and remained unchanged in writing over last year’s results.  Among public school students nationwide, achievement dropped in all three areas  – by two points in critical reading, one point in mathematics and one point in  writing.

Since 2008, average SAT scores of Virginia  public school students have increased by one point in both reading and  mathematics and decreased by two points in writing, compared with five-year  decreases in public schools nationwide of five points in reading, three points  in mathematics and six points in writing.

Overall average achievement of all Virginia  high school seniors – including private and home-schooled students – decreased by  two points in reading, increased three points in mathematics and was unchanged  in writing.

  • Virginia’s all-student average of 510 in  reading is 14 points higher than the national all-student average of 496.
  • The commonwealth’s all-student average of 512  in mathematics is two points lower than the national average.
  • Virginia’s all-student average writing score  of 495 is seven points higher than the national average.

While the number of Virginia students taking  the rival ACT is increasing, the SAT remains the dominant college-entrance  examination in Virginia.

The College Board also reported that the  number of Virginia public school students who took at least one Advanced  Placement (AP) examination during their high school career increased by 5.7  percent this year and the number of tests taken increased by 9 percent.

2012 AP Virginia Public School Participation  & Achievement

                    Group

Test Takers

Exams Taken

Number of 3-5 Scores

Total

Increase from
last year

% of
Total

Total

Increase from
last year

Total

Change from
last year

All Students

70,067

5.7%

100

133,245

9.0%

80,194

12.2%

American Indian

312

1.6%

0.4

551

3.2%

290

-6.1%

Asian

8,792

5.0%

12.5

19,867

8.0%

13,114

13.0%

Black

7,931

5.0%

11.3

12,764

7.6%

4,200

16.2%

Hispanic

4,727

6.6%

6.7

8,305

11.2%

4,273

12.2%

White

42,136

4.6%

60.1

80,668

8.1%

52,198

10.7%

The number of AP examinations taken by 2012  public school graduates that qualified for college credit increased by 12.2 percent.  Of the 133,245 AP tests taken by Virginia public school students, 80,194, or 60.2  percent, earned a grade of 3 or higher.

The College Board’s February 2012 Advanced Placement Report to the Nation ranked Virginia third in the nation in achievement on AP examinations. The  College Board will use the AP data released today to update its state rankings  early next year.