Moore's Average SAT Score Up Slightly
Moore County's average SAT score edged up slightly this year and was above the state and national averages.
The average score on the critical reading and math portions was 1,048, up three points from 2009, according to preliminary results released by the College Board on Monday. That compares to the national average of 1,017 and the state average of 1,008
Moore County students averaged a score of 518 in critical reading, which was 4 percent higher than the state's score of 497. The national average reading score was 501.
Math scores in Moore County were roughly 3.6 percent higher than the state's average of 511, a score that has remained unchanged for the past three years, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. The national average in math was 516.
Moore County's average on the writing portion was 494, up from 487 last year. The state's average writing score was 477. The national average was 492.
At least 52.4 percent of high school students in Moore County took the test during the 2009-2010 year. Statewide, 63 percent of high school graduates took the test.
Among the county's three public high schools, Pinecrest seniors had an average score of 1,063, down one point from last year. Union Pines' average score was 1,036, compared with 1,039 last year. The average score for North Moore was 985, down from 992 in 2009.
Moore County Schools Superintendent Susan Purser discussed the system's scores at Monday's Board of Education meeting.
"We've seen a consistent pattern," Purser told the Board of Education Monday night. "We have maintained our average scores to be above the state, as well as the nation, and I think that is important to note."
Purser emphasized the fact that students wishing to attend Sandhills Community College or other local community colleges often choose not to take the test because community colleges do not require students to take it.
"A number of our students actually continue their education there," she said. "Therefore, there is no need to actually take the SAT."
Purser also stressed that a single test score does not define a student's ability to perform. She went on to say that the consistency of the scores, paired with a 10-point increase in last year's graduation rate, demonstrates "positive things going on in the schools."
"It's not about the end," Purser said. "It's about what the journey is. I'm very pleased with the progress we are making along the way."
North Carolina as a whole saw the greatest 10-year gain among states that mainly rely on SAT scores for admission to college.
Students improved their combined reading and math scores on the test by 20 points over the past 10 years. However, the state's average score of 1,008 is still nine points behind the national average of 1,017.
North Carolina's scores include both public and independent schools.
The College Board's results are based on the scores of 1,597,329 SAT takers in the class of 2010 through March 2010. Nationally, 47 percent of graduating students took the test.
Though the SAT can be a strong indicator of the college-bound population, it is not the only deciding factor. Some states rely more heavily on other standardized tests, such as the ACT.
High school students are not required to take the SAT, and students mostly have to pay to take the test.
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