Idaho SAT scores nearly unchanged

Idaho students’ SAT scores remained mostly flat this year as a record number of high school juniors took the college entrance exam.

For the spring of 2013, the average SAT scores were slightly below the cutoff of 500 that indicates students are likely to be successful in postsecondary education.

  • In critical reading, Idaho juniors averaged 452, up from 448 the year before.
  • In math, students averaged 452, which is just down from the 2012 score of 454.
  • In writing, students averaged 446 in spring 2013, a decrease from 447 a year earlier.

Possible scores for each section range from 200 to 800. Results broken down by individual school districts are available online through the State Department of Education’s website.

A record 17,306 juniors took the test. That’s a 4.5 percent increase from 2012, when Idaho first offered no-cost SATs, and 16,566 juniors took the test.

Since 2011-12, all juniors have been required to take a college entrance exam, such as the SAT, ACT, COMPASS or ACCUPLACER, to meet high school graduation requirements.

The Education Department has contracted with The College Board to pay for juniors to take the test during a school day each spring. The state also pays for one makeup day for the SAT or for students to take the ACCUPLACER online test.

“I am pleased to see more Idaho students taking advantage of Idaho SAT School Day. This is a great opportunity for every high school junior to prepare to go on to postsecondary education and the workforce,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said in a news release.

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“At the state level, we are working to increase our academic standards and provide the tools and resources necessary so every student can meet the college- and career-readiness benchmarks before they graduate.”

Before the state started paying the fees, fewer than 3,000 students took the SAT.

By 2020, the State Board of Education wants 60 percent of the state’s young adults to obtain a postsecondary education. Covering the costs of the SAT and switching to the more rigorous Idaho Core Standards are seen as steps to help meet that goal.

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