SAT scores improving

Published 10:34 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

Recently released SAT scores from Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward County students reflect improvement. However, the three counties remain below state averages.

A press release issued by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)on Tuesday shows state averages improved across the board. Commonwealth critical reading was 29 points higher than last year at 516. Mathematics and writing were 19 and 21 points higher, respectively, with a mean score of 513 in math and 493 in writing.

“Nationwide, achievement declined in all three subjects on the SAT,” the release said.

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Buckingham County’s scores improved in all subject areas from the previous year, with a score of 472 in mathematics — 25 points higher than in 2015. In critical reading and writing students scored 469 and 447, compared to 445 and 432 the previous year.

School Superintendent Dr. Cecil Snead said Buckingham High School has provided a Review SAT Prep course and hopes it is of value to students. He said the data seems to suggest the class is of value.

“We are pleased that our students are growing in individual success on the SAT,” Snead said. 

Cumberland student scores reflect growth in both math and writing. In writing, students scored 11 points higher, with a score of 439. Math scores improved by 8 points with 440 points for the most recent year.

“Although we saw growth in SAT math and writing scores, we are not satisfied with these results,” Cumberland Superintendent Amy Griffin said.

In critical reading, Cumberland students declined by 9 points with a 438 for this year.

Griffin said the the county began offering SAT prep classes as well, during an after school program this fall. Teachers and students will continue to work on vocabulary, writing and math concepts, she said.

Prince Edward County Superintendent Barbara Johnson said the school system is excited about gains made by students compared to previous years, though the scores still remain below both state and national averages.

Prince Edward County saw large gains compared to past years in all three subject areas. In math, students scored 62 points higher from the past year with a score of 464. Critical reading and writing saw improvements of 58 and 52 points respectively. The school scored a 469 on reading and a 453 in writing.

“We remain committed to providing our students with a high quality education that will prepare them with the knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary success or success in the workforce,” Johnson said.

According to the release, 45.2 percent of public school graduates who took the SAT met or exceeded the College Board’s benchmark for college readings, a 1500 combined score.

According to VDOE, this “indicates a 65-percent likelihood of achieving a B-grade-point average or higher during the first year of college.”

Nationally, only 37.3 percent of SAT takers met this standard.

Johnson said the test results are based on the old SAT test which was administered prior to March of this year. In March, the College Board combined the reading and writing components of the test, so future scores will reflect that change.