From 2003 to 2004, the average score on the verbal section of the SAT increased in West Virginia and nationally. West Virginia’s SAT verbal scores increased by two points to a score of 524 and nationally, the scores increased by one point to a score of 508. The mathematics scores of West Virginia high school graduates increased by four points to a score of 514, while nationally the scores decreased by one point to a score of 518.
Both West Virginia male and female students scored higher averages in 2004 than in 2003. The average verbal score for West Virginia male students in 2004 is 530 compared to 528 in 2003; the average verbal score for female students in West Virginia remained the same at 518. West Virginia male students showed the most growth in mathematics – the average score increased by six points to a score of 538. The gain in mathematics for the West Virginia female students was two points to a score of 493.
West Virginia graduating males were ahead of their female classmates. Male average scores for mathematics were higher than the national male average (538 for West Virginia males compared to the national average for males of 537). In 2003 and 2004, the national SAT male average for mathematics remained the same, 537. From 2003 to 2004, West Virginia males improved from 532 to 538, which moved them above the national average.
“Both parents and students should be extremely proud of these scores,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “Our efforts teaching the Content Standards are definitely paying off. The improved 2004 ACT scores and our continued improvement on the SAT tells us that we are on the right path to success.”
When the SAT scores are disaggregated by race/ethnicity, academic growth is also evident. Comparisons between the 2003 and 2004 West Virginia data show that Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics had higher averages in 2004 than in 2003. West Virginia Asians had the largest gain; their average verbal score increased by 20 points to 566 and their average mathematics score increased by 37 points to 610. African American students in West Virginia also posted gains. The average verbal score for West Virginia African Americans increased by nine points to 442 and by eight points in mathematics to 415. Hispanic West Virginia students increased their average verbal score by 30 points to 529 and their average mathematics score by 25 points to 494.
The SAT is an accepted college admission and placement test. Each section (verbal and mathematics) is scored on a scale of 200 to 800, with 800 the highest possible score. SAT scores are accepted by eighty percent of all colleges and universities in the nation.