More high school juniors than ever participated in the second annual Idaho SAT School Day, an opportunity for high school students to take the SAT college entrance exam at no cost to the student or their family.
In Spring 2013, 17,306 high school juniors took the SAT, up from 16,566 students in 2012.
“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. “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.”
The results this year continue to show that an estimated one in four high school juniors taking the exam are meeting college- and career-readiness benchmarks set by the College Board. States like Maine and Delaware, which test all students on the SAT, showed similar results in their initial years of testing.
Idaho SAT School Day was first implemented in 2012 to help all Idaho students meet a new high school graduation requirement for high school juniors to take a college entrance exam. The goal is to ensure high school students are better prepared to apply for postsecondary education before they leave high school.
In years past, students voluntarily chose whether or not to take the ACT or SAT to prepare for postsecondary education and most paid for their own exams. Now, all high school juniors are required to take a college entrance exam by the end of their junior year, whether they take the SAT paid for by the state and administered on Idaho SAT School Day or the ACT, which is not paid for by the state.
Before Idaho SAT School Day was implemented, fewer than 3,000 students took the SAT before graduation.
The average scores for Idaho high school juniors remained similar year over year: 452 in critical reading (448 in 2012), 452 in mathematics (454 in 2012), and 446 in writing (447 in 2012). A score of 500 in each subject area has shown a student will be successful in postsecondary education after high school.
The state is working to better prepare students to meet college- and career-ready benchmarks before they graduate from high school.
First, the state adopted the Common Core State Standards as Idaho’s Core Standards in mathematics and English language arts. The higher academic standards are being implemented this fall to ensure every student graduates from high school prepared to go on to postsecondary education.
Second, the Idaho Legislature approved additional funding this year to provide every high school sophomore the opportunity to take the PSAT. Scores from the PSAT will aid districts in determining the appropriate course or Advanced Placement (AP) options for those students who participate. In turn, when acted on appropriately, schools can use PSAT data to help increase SAT scores the following year.
For more information on Idaho SAT School Day, including results by district, visit http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/assessment/collegeEntranceExam.htm.
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Editor’s Note: Please take caution in reading and reporting the data on Idaho SAT School Day versus national results that are released for the ACT and SAT. The Idaho SAT School Day data only measures the results of high school juniors taking the SAT paid for by the state. The national results for the ACT and SAT measure the results of a cohort of students (sophomores, juniors and seniors) who graduate in a given year and selected to take the SAT or ACT during their high school years.
Here is more on the national ACT and SAT results for your information:
· National ACT results were published August 21, 2013. These results reflect students in the Class of 2013 who chose to take the ACT, which is not paid for by the state. According to this data, 8,624 graduates in the Class of 2013 chose to take the ACT at some point in their high school career, down from 11,842 in the Class of 2012. Of those taking the ACT, 32 percent met all four ACT college readiness benchmarks, significantly above the national average of 26 percent. The average composite score was 22.1.
· National SAT results will be released in at the end of September. These results will be for the Class of 2013 and will reflect data of high school juniors who participate in Idaho SAT School Day in April 2012. This data will differ from the data provided in this press release but will be comparable to the data provided for the first-ever Idaho SAT School Day, held in April 2012.