Average SAT scores up in Va., down in Md.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia students' average scores on the SAT college-admission test have increased in all three subsections and continue to top national averages.
Figures released Thursday by the College Board show the state's public school class of 2013 scored 512 points in reading, up four points from the previous year. The math score increased 1 point to 511, while the writing score rose 2 points to 494.
Virginia students scored 21 points higher than the national average in reading, eight points higher in math and 14 points higher in writing.
According to the data, D.C.'s scores also rose. Maryland's scores dropped.
African-American students' scores improved in all three sections. They scored an average 439 in reading, up seven points from the previous year. Their average math score rose four points to 431 and the average writing score increased five points to 422.
Hispanic students' average reading score rose five points to 491 and their math score increased one point to 490. Their average writing score was unchanged at 474. The number of Hispanic students taking the SAT increased 7 percent from 2012.
Nationwide, average scores in reading, math and writing were unchanged from 2012.
"Most Virginia high schools are doing a great job preparing our students for the college entrance exams. While nationwide test scores showed no growth, this year we saw in Virginia impressively high marks on every section of the SAT. This is due to the rigorous standards we hold our students too, and the high-quality classroom instruction by our teachers," Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a news release.
Sixty-seven percent of Virginia's 2013 public high school graduates and 71 percent of graduating seniors took the SAT. The total number of students who took the test, 53,072, was down slightly from 53,806 in 2012.
"Virginia teachers at all grade levels should take pride in the improving performance of our graduating seniors on the SAT," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said in the news release. "The long-term trend on the SAT is up as students are challenged by more rigorous standards as they advance through elementary and middle grades to high school, and ultimately graduate better prepared for their first year of college or the work force."
The number of Virginia public school students who took at least one Advanced Placement exam in high school increased 5.7 percent, and the number of tests taken rose 1.1 percent, the College Board reported.