SAT participation falls; Vance scores lagging

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 05:47 PM

With college application deadlines looming, high school seniors across the country are deciding which college entrance exam to take.

The number of seniors taking the SAT in 2013 dropped 8.2 percent from the previous year, even though North Carolina is traditionally an “SAT state,” according to a report released recently by the College Board and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

In 2012, high school juniors took the ACT for the first time as part of the state’s new READY accountability model, which means students can use their ACT results for college admission without having to pay for the college entrance exam.

The report shows that Vance County high school seniors earned an average SAT score about 200 points less than the state average of 1,479, and the national average of 1,498. The maximum best score is 2,400.

In Vance County Schools, the average math score was 441, the average critical reading score was 422, and the average writing score was 419.

During the 2011-2012 school year, the section averages were about the same. The math score was 443, critical reading was 418 and writing was same as last year.

North Carolina seniors posted an average critical reading score of 495, which is an increase of four points from 2012. Their average math score of 506 remained the same as last year. The average writing score for North Carolina’s senior class of 2013 was 478, which represents an increase of six points.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said in a September press release that she was pleased high school seniors increased their average performance on the SAT.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that students increased their average critical reading score. I fully expect to see our seniors’ scores continue to improve as students benefit from the Common Core State Standards,” Atkinson said.

Nationally, the average critical reading score was 496, the average math score was 514 and the average writing score was 488.

Vance County Schools public information officer Terri Hedrick wrote in an email that middle and high school students across Vance County can sign up for SAT prep classes through their school counselors at Northern Vance High School and Southern Vance High School beginning Oct. 21 until late February.

“Students are signing up now at the schools for the October 21-21 sessions,” Hedrick wrote. “NVHS and SVHS have a guaranteed 10 spots each, first come first serve, for students. There are other spots available for students from Early College High, Western Vance High, Henderson Middle, Eaton-Johnson Middle and the STEM Program on a first-come-first-serve basis.”

Students are charged $20 for the three-day sessions.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.