W.Va. Students Outperforming Peers Across the Nation on SAT

August 28, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ The latest SAT data released today by the College Board indicate that West Virginia students outperformed high school seniors across the nation on the critical reading and writing portions of the college entrance assessment.

In addition, more West Virginia students are taking the SAT according to the latest data released by the College Board. In 2007, more than 2,900 students took the SAT.

Although West Virginia’s critical reading score decreased to 516 from 519 in 2006, it is still above the national average. Nationally, the mean score in critical reading dropped from 503 in 2006 to 502 in 2007. The average SAT writing score in 2007 for West Virginia graduating seniors was 505. The national average writing score decreased to 494.

The 2007 national average in mathematics declined from 518 in 2006 to 515. In West Virginia, the 2007 average fell from 510 in 2006 to 507 in 2007.

“West Virginia’s performance is not unlike states with a comparable percent of the graduates taking the SAT,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine.  “However, I fully expect to see increases in student performance when the West Virginia Department of Education’s 21st Century Learning initiative is fully implemented.  All of our students will be taking courses that are more rigorous next year. I anticipate changes in the performance of our students not only on the SAT but on the ACT and on our statewide assessments such as the WESTEST in the upcoming years.”

In addition to increasing the level of cognitive complexity and embedding 21st century learning skills such as critical thinking and problem solving within the new curriculum, West Virginia is developing a guide to help students increase their mathematical knowledge and skills which, in turn, will improve their performance on both the SAT and ACT.  A similar student guide will be developed focusing on writing.

The SAT exam is the most popular college entrance exam for private schools and those on the East and West coasts. Most public schools and those in the South and Midwest prefer the ACT exam. Both are accepted for consideration for West Virginia’s PROMISE Scholarship.

The College Board also oversees the Advance Placement (AP) program. The number of West Virginia students scoring a three to five on AP exams increased by 11.2 percent from 2006 to 2007. In addition, the number of West Virginia students taking AP exams increased from 2006 to 2007 by 8.4 percent.

For more information on the SAT scores, contact the WVDE’s Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.



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