SAT participation on the rise

Published 12:36 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2011

JACKSON —  A larger than ever percentage of seniors in Northampton County Schools took the SAT in the previous school year, according to a report released this month.

A total of 79.5 percent of Northampton seniors took the test, up from 58 percent the previous year, according to a report released by The College Board, the national group that administers the college entrance test. These figures compare to 67 percent of North Carolina seniors who took the test and 50 percent of seniors nationally.

At Northampton County High School-East 69.2 percent of seniors took the SAT while 98.4 percent took the reasoning test at Northampton County High School-West.

Some portion of the participation increase can be attributed to the fact that The College Board now includes students who took the test through June whereas the previous cutoff was March.  Officials with Northampton County Schools said the district is also making a concerted effort to encourage students to prepare for college.  Both high schools have designated individuals who meet with students regularly to assist them in registering for the SAT.  The schools also assist students in getting fee waivers to take the SAT.  At NCHS-West STEM, the counselor administers the PSAT.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said in a press release that high school students are consistently reminded that college is within their reach and should be on their list of post-secondary options.

Those 79.5 percent of Northampton County seniors scored 403 on math, 374 on critical reading and 370 on writing for a combined score of 1147.

NCHS-East students scored 409 on math, 375 on critical reading and 380 on writing for a combined score of 1164. Meanwhile, NCHS-West students score 396 on math, 373 on critical reading and 360 on writing, a combined score of 1129.

On the state level, students who tested scored 508 on math, 493 on critical reading and 474 on writing for a combined score of 1475.

Nationally, students who were tested scored 514 on math, 497 critical thinking and 489 writing, a combined score of 1500.

Due to changes in reporting SAT scores in 2011, The College Board said that scores on this year’s test cannot be compared to the previous year.  The College Board always cautions that the higher the percentage of students participating in the SAT, the lower the scores.

Northampton County SAT results compare favorably with most other area school districts.

Hertford County Schools had a participation rate of 58 percent of students who scored 412 on math, 393 on critical thinking and 377 on writing, a combined score of 1182.

Bertie County Schools had participation rate of 67.4 percent with 410 on math, 387 on critical thinking and 364 on writing for a combined score of 1161.

Dr. Bracy praised students for their interest in taking the test.  “Participating in SAT testing means that many of our students are interested in furthering their education, and we support them in this effort,” he said. “The challenge for all of us with Northampton County Schools is to ensure that our students are prepared to perform well on the test and are ready for college-level work. With our early literacy initiative and other efforts to boost student achievement, I am confident that the scores will continue to improve and that more of our students will graduate with the skills they need for college and work.”