August 19, 2009
The College Board announced SAT scores for the class of 2009. New Hampshire continues to have a high participation rate; 75% of New Hampshire's high school students took the SAT. NH also continues to perform above the national average. The mean scores were higher in critical reading, math, and writing than the nation's schools. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800. The score for critical reading was 523 compared to the national score of 501. The mathematics score was 523 and the national score was 515. In writing the score was 510 with the national score being 493. This data is based on the performance of NH students from all schools - public, private, and parochial.
The SAT assesses the critical thinking skills students need for academic success. It indicates how well students use the skills and knowledge they have attained in and outside of the classroom, including how they think, solve problems, and communicate. The SAT is an important resource for colleges. The reports released today are based on the cohort of students who graduated high school in 2009 and participated in the SAT Program at anytime during their high school careers.
As measures of developed verbal and mathematical abilities important for success in college, SAT scores are useful in making decisions about individual students and assessing their academic preparation. Because of the increasing public interest in educational accountability, aggregate test data continue to be widely publicized and analyzed. Aggregate scores can be properly used as one indicator of educational quality when used in conjunction with a careful examination of other conditions. However, not all students in a high school, district, or state take the SAT. Since the population of test-takers is self-selected, using aggregate SAT scores to compare or evaluate teachers, schools, districts, states, or other educational units is not valid, and the College Board strongly discourages such uses.
The SAT is a strong indicator of trends in the college-bound population, but it should never be used alone for such comparisons because demographics and other nonschool factors can have an effect on scores.
The statewide results of the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams were also released today. The AP program offers high school students academically challenging college-level courses in a variety of subject areas. In all, 5,902 New Hampshire students participated in the AP program (up 4.6 percent from 2008), taking a total of 9,335 AP exams (up 6.6 percent from last year).
AP exams are scored on a scale of one (lowest score) to five (highest score). Seventy-two percent of NH exams were scored at three or higher. A score of three or above is considered demonstrating college level mastery of the content.
More information can be found on the College Board Web site at professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat.