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N.C. SAT Score Now Above Southeast Average

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's average total SAT scoremoved up six points in 2001-02, moving the state above theSoutheast average for the first time.

The mathematics score increased by six points, to 505, while the verbal score stayed the same at 493, for a total score of 998.

The national mathematics score rose two points to 516 and theverbal score fell two points to 504 for a total of 1020.

North Carolina's verbal score is now 11 points away from thenation's verbal score and 11 points away from the nation's mathscore. In 1991, North Carolina's math score was 26 points andverbal score was 21 points away from the national averages.

North Carolina's SAT score of 998 exceeded the Southeast averageof 995 for the first time. The Southeast score includes scores fromFlorida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

North Carolina's score went up even as the participation rate ofstudents increased. At 67 percent, North Carolina has the 13thlargest (tied with Maryland) SAT participation rate in the nation,which is 46 percent.

In 2001-02, about 46,180 students in North Carolina took theSAT, up nearly 5 percent from the previous year. Generally, amongstates, the higher the percentage of students taking the SAT, thelower the score.

North Carolina has improved its score each year since 1990,except in 1994 when there was no change.

"These scores show that the focus in our state is paying off inbetter performance," said State Board of Education Chairman PhilKirk. "We need to convince more students that they need to taketougher courses if they are considering going to college and we'llsee even better results."

State Superintendent Mike Ward said that he was pleased to seeNorth Carolina's SAT results move above the Southeast average."Universities tell us that the students we're sending to them arebetter prepared for college-level work. That's backed up by theseresults," Ward said.

The average score of North Carolina's black students increasedfour points to 839, which is 207 points lower than the score ofwhite students in this state, which was 1046.

North Carolina's Hispanic students scored 961 in 2002, a14-point decrease over the previous year. American Indian studentsin North Carolina improved their score by 23 points to 914.