Class of 2018 scores higher than the national average for public school seniors

District students improve SAT and AP scores
Posted on 10/25/2018
Bland SAT test with pencil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 25, 2018

District students improve their performance
on SAT and Advanced Placement exams  

BEAUFORT – Beaufort County School District students improved their performance on SAT college entrance exams and also on college Advanced Placement exams in 2017-18 results released today by the College Board.

“We see plenty of room for growth, but these are both solid improvements over last year,” said Chief Instructional Services Officer Bonnie Almond.

Almond said academic preparation remains the key to success.  “If students take more challenging courses in high school, they are better prepared for college entrance or Advanced Placement exams.”

SAT college entrance exams
District high school seniors in the Class of 2018 improved their average SAT college entrance exam score by 14 points over last year, higher than the national average for public school seniors. 

Beaufort County seniors’ average score of 1061 was slightly lower than South Carolina’s statewide average of 1064, although a significantly higher percentage of district seniors took the exam – 55 percent of district seniors compared to 45 percent of seniors statewide.  Beaufort County’s 55 percent SAT participation rate was eighth-highest in the state for 2018.

The number of high school senior test-takers increased slightly from 2017 to 2018, going from 657 to 665.

The SAT, which is administered by the College Board, relies on two main components: Evidence Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math. An Essay section is optional. Scores range from 400 to 1600 overall (800 maximum on both sections).

Beaufort County School District seniors’ ERW score was 539, higher than the national public school score of 529 but slightly lower than the statewide score of 543.  The district’s math score was 522, slightly higher than the national and state scores of 520.

Five-year SAT trend data were not available because the SAT was redesigned two years ago.

Advanced Placement exams
More than half of Beaufort County School District students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses in 2017-18 scored high enough on their final exams to earn free college credits, the College Board reported today. 

Advanced Placement – and the accompanying College Board exams that demonstrate mastery of the course material – let students earn free college course credits while still in high school.  For 2017-18, 53 percent of Beaufort County School District AP exams had scores of 3 or better on the tests’ five-point scale, qualifying them for college credit.  That was an improvement over the previous school year’s 51 percent and also over the district’s 49 percent mark five years ago.

Across the district, 586 individual students scored high enough to earn college credits compared to 525 last year and 578 five years ago.  The total number of exams taken was 1,570, up from 1,480 last year and down from 1,749 five years ago.

Almond said fewer students are taking AP courses because more are taking advantage of “dual enrollment” courses that also allow them to earn college credits while still in high school through partnerships with colleges and universities.

Statewide, the percentage of AP exams with scores of 3 or better was 58 percent, up from 57 percent last year also five years ago.  Nationally, the percentage of AP exams with scores of 3 or better was 57 percent.