Local News

N.C. SAT scores close in on national average

Posted August 26, 2008

— North Carolina's average SAT score in 2008 increased slightly, bringing the state to within 10 points of the nation's average, according to information released Tuesday.

North Carolina's average SAT score was 1,007, up 3 points from a year ago, while the national average remained steady at 1,017. State math scores increased from 509 to 511, while reading scores went from 495 to 496. Nationally, the average math score is 515, and the average reading score is 502.

"We are extremely pleased with today's news," state Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said in a statement. "Students have been working diligently and challenging themselves with higher-level courses. This strategy takes time, but it is effective. In 1998, it seemed we would never reach the national average. Today, that goal is within sight."

The percentage of students taking the SAT in North Carolina was 63 percent in 2008, according to recently revised projections of state participation rates. The number of test takers in the state increased to 56,442, a 2.4 percent increase over 2007.

The SAT is one of the college admissions tests widely accepted and required by colleges and universities and the one most commonly taken in North Carolina. The other test, taken by 14 percent of North Carolina students, is the ACT.

North Carolina students also out performed the nation on the ACT for the first time in at least five years. The state's average composite score increased by 0.3 point from 2007 to 2008 and totaled 21.3 points. The national average composite score decreased by 0.1 point to 21.1 total points.

Wake County's average increased 2 points, to 1,059, while Johnston County's jumped 7 seven points, to 1,019. Orange County's average went up 3 points, to 1,043, and Cumberland County's went up 4 points, to 946. Meanwhile, Durham County's average dropped 16 points, to 967, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro's fell 6 points, to 1,179.


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  • dogman1973 Aug 27, 2008

    Abolish the Department of Education....let's get back to the basics--reading, writing and arithmetic! Instead the bureaucrats, who have never taught in a classroom, at the department of education continue to force the teachers to teach on how to take these god forsaken end school tests! What are the children really learning? If my tax dollars go to supporting the local public schools, then I want a refund, cuz I am not getting my moneys worth!

  • georgeorwell1 Aug 27, 2008

    veyor, I had and still have no intention of continuing anything with you. I find you to be less than intelligent

  • veyor Aug 27, 2008

    George - The site I'm using has 2005 statistics. The percentage of students in Mississippi who took the SAT was 4%. They scored an average of 1118 on the SAT, whereas in NC 74% took it, and the average was 1010. If you don't see what I'm talking about here, there's no use in continuing this conversation.

  • georgeorwell1 Aug 26, 2008

    It's too bad that they never actually become a teacher and show us how it's done. They're long on mouth and short on action.

    The reason I did not become a teacher is; before I chose what to do in life, I looked into what each of the fields paid and made a decision on what I wanted to do and how I wanted to live. I did not go into something that historically has not paid high salaries and then complain that it does not pay.

  • georgeorwell1 Aug 26, 2008

    veyor, you stated that ALL students in NC took them and that was comparing apples to oranges. Fact is it is apples to apples because everyone who wanted to, and only those who wanted to, take them, took them.

  • daMoFo Aug 26, 2008

    Today was our second day of school and I already have five students that want to get their schedules changed out of my chemistry class. Their reasons are that the workload will 1) interfere with football 2) job 3)"It's my senior year and I just want to enjoy it without a lot of work." 4) "I don't think I like it." 5) "I don't like to do anything with math."

    There is part of the reason our test scores are not great. When those are the attitudes I am dealing with on the second day of school, don't give me your bs about teachers don't do a good job. Our country is full of arm chair know it alls that know exactly what the problem is with public education. It's too bad that they never actually become a teacher and show us how it's done. They're long on mouth and short on action.

  • lizard Aug 26, 2008

    "The fault lies primarily with parents who refuse to be invested in their child's educaton, including a refusal to support their child's teachers. Many believe that their child's education is not their problem."

    I agree with this statement only because teachers don't do a good job. The parents have to teach them and be involved if the child learns anything. Nothing but indoctrination going on in the public school system.

  • NC Reader Aug 26, 2008

    "George and Mossy, the info came from an MSN site, actually they reported 74% for NC students and 5% for Iowa. My premise stays exactly the same, when NC has 63% or 74% or whatever verses the top 5% in other states, that "drivel" must be taken into account. --veyor"

    Interesting information. I agree that you can't compare 63% or above to 5%.

  • NC Reader Aug 26, 2008

    "All students take the SAT in NC, only the top 6% of students take it in Iowa. You can't compare apples to oranges."

    I think that years ago, when I was going through high school, almost everyone took it in NC as opposed to lower percentages in other states, so yes, that would have skewed the results. However, someone pointed out that that isn't the case now. Undoubtedly, one reason that the percentage of takers has dropped is because the high schools and colleges are putting much more emphasis on the ACT, a test that students in other parts of the country have been more likely to take than the SAT. I know of several very smart college-bound students who have opted for the ACT instead. I've heard that the SAT is geared more toward measuring aptitude and the ACT is more focused on what has actually been learned in school. Does anyone know if this is true?

  • NC Reader Aug 26, 2008

    "NC Reader, while I agree with you on the idea of investigating the ability of students to take the test, the article says only 63 percent in NC take the test."

    Somehow I missed that obvious fact! Thank you for pointing it out.