SAT average slips again

Published 1:16 am Thursday, September 27, 2012

For the third year in a row, Beaufort County’s public high school students performed below the state and national averages on the SAT.
The national average for students who took the 2012 college admissions exam was 1498. The state’s average score was 1469.
The county’s average combined SAT score was 1326, down more than 40 points from last year’s average of 1369 and far below 2010’s county average of 1400.
Seven Beaufort County Early College students took this year’s SAT and earned an average combined score of 1420.
Northside High School had the second-highest average with 1396. Students did better in math and critical reading than those tested last year. According to North Carolina Public Schools, the 10-year trend in SAT scores has shown a decline in both subjects. Critical reading has declined by eight points and math has dropped by two points.
Southside High School’s combined average was 1182 and Washington’s class of 2012 averaged 1352.
About half of the county’s seniors opted not to take the SATs in 2012. The results are from 175 of the county’s students.
Statewide, 68 percent (or 63,271) of North Carolina high school seniors took the SAT. The participation rate for 2012 was the largest in North Carolina history.
“The strong SAT and Advanced Placement participation rates in North Carolina are encouraging because they demonstrate that students are planning to further their education,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson in a news release. “I am especially pleased to see AP participation rates and performance improving.”
This year, the College Board set a Benchmark of 1550 (combination of Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing) as the score indicating a 65 percent likelihood that students will achieve a B grade point average or higher during their first year of college.
Using this Benchmark, 38 percent of North Carolina’s Class of 2012 achieved the Benchmark of 1550.