State SAT scores barely budge

Posted September 13, 2010 11:51 a.m. EDT
Updated September 13, 2010 4:00 p.m. EDT

— The average score on the SAT in North Carolina went up two points in 2010, but the state continues to trail the national average on the college entrance exam, officials said Monday.

North Carolina's average on the reading and math portions of the test was 1,008 out of a possible 1,600 this year, compared with the national average of 1,017. Nationwide, the average score dropped one point from 2009.

The state's gain came in the reading portion of the test, from 495 to 497. The average on the math section remained at 511 for the third straight year. Scores on the writing section of the test dropped three points, from 480 to 477.

The scores are based on the most recent SAT taken by public and private school graduating seniors in 2010. Sixty-three percent of the Class of 2010 statewide took the test, compared with 47 percent nationally. The state participation rate was a record, officials said.

Although North Carolina remains below the national average, officials noted that the state has dramatically closed the gap in recent years. Twenty years ago, the gap was 53 points, they said.

In Wake County, the average SAT score was 1,069, down four points from 2009. Durham County students posted an average of 963, down two points, while the average for Cumberland County students was 947, also down two points.

Students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools had an average of 1,194, up 15 points from the previous year, while students in other Orange County schools posted an average of 1,044, up five points. The average score in Johnston County was 1,022, up six points from 2009.