Tuesday, September 08, 2015

AP scores increase; SAT scores dip in 2015

Charles County’s students’ scores increased on Advanced Placement (AP) exams; decreased on the SAT; and remained flat on the ACT, according to data released this week by the College Board and ACT, Inc.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) average score on AP exams rose 8.5 percent, up from 2.23 in 2014 to 2.42 in 2015. It is the first significant increase in the past five years. “Taking Advanced Placement classes in high school is one of the best ways to prepare our students for future study and success. AP classes are the most rigorous, and we encourage students to take the courses as a way to challenge themselves,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill said. County AP results are available at http://www.ccboe.com/aboutus/2015CountyAP.pdf.

While the number of students taking the SAT increased, average scores decreased. The average score for the class of 2015 was 1,445, down from 1,462 in 2014. State averages also declined. Participation countywide increased from 613 in 2014 to 742 in 2015, a 4.8 percent gain.  Students’ average score on the critical reading section is 490; the average math score is 487; and the average writing score is 468.

The SAT is used by many colleges as part of an admissions process and designed to demonstrate a student’s mastery of certain subjects. Only scores for graduating seniors are included in the 2015 report. Students in the Class of 2015 were offered more than $62 million in scholarships. SAT results for 2015 college-bound seniors are posted on the CCPS website at http://www.ccboe.com/PDF/testscores/sat2015.pdf.

A growing number of colleges are also using college readiness scores from the ACT, the nation’s other major college readiness exam, for admission. Statewide, the ACT has been making dramatic gains in participation, and CCPS is following the trend, Hill said. CCPS students have increased participation on the ACT during the past several years, and for the past three years, more students took the ACT than the SAT. In 2015, 923 students took the ACT, compared to 915 in 2014 and 782 in 2013. Many students take both the SAT and ACT. CCPS scores on the ACT remained flat. Students’ 2015 ACT composite score was 19.6, down from 19.7 in 2014 and up from 19.3 in 2013. The ACT tests in four areas: English, reading, science and mathematics. ACT results are available at http://www.ccboe.com/aboutus/ACT2015data.pdf.

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