Local News

Average SAT Scores Hit Record High In N.C. But Stay Below National Average

Posted August 27, 2003

— Good news as well as concern accompanied the release of

North Carolina's latest SAT scores.

The average score in the state last year was 1,001 -- marking the first time North Carolina has cracked the 1,000 mark. Nevertheless, the state remains 25 points below the national average -- the same gap as 10 years ago.

Here is a look at scores from around the region, starting with the Triangle:

Chapel Hill had the highest scores, followed by Wake County. Only Durham and Chatham County ranked below the state average.

In the Sandhills, Moore County had the best scores at 1,044. Cumberland County dropped to 946.

Down East, only Roanoke Rapids city schools beat the state average. Halifax and Northampton counties did not break 800.

To the North, Granville County had a strong showing at 1,012. The other counties performed below the state average.

"You are going to get some zig and zag, year by year, " said state Superintendent Dr. Mike Ward. "What I would look at, in the smaller school districts, is the multi-year trend."

Wakefield High School has improved more than any other school in Wake County. One of the reasons for that, students said, is the teachers.

"They request that you try to take it a couple of times if you don't do as well as you want to on the first one," said senior Meisha Holmes. "They really encourage it a lot here."

There also have been some impressive SAT numbers from the rising freshmen at Triangle universities. The average North Carolina State freshman scored an 1,192.

Students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill came in with a 1,282, and Duke University freshmen averaged 1,400 on the test.

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