Class of 2009 SAT Participation Increases, Scores Hold Steady

August 25, 2009
SAT Performance by the MCPS Class of 2009 Holds
Steady as Participation among Diverse Groups Increases

SAT Scores of African American Students Increase 20 Points from Previous Year

SAT participation by graduates of the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Class of 2009 was nearly 80 percent, an increase of more than four percentage points from the previous year. This is compared with about 50 percent of graduates participating nationwide.

Although MCPS SAT participation increased to include a more diverse group of test takers in 2009, SAT performance held steady. On average, the MCPS mean SAT combined score of 1615 was 118 points higher than the mean SAT combined score for Maryland (1497) and 106 points higher than the mean SAT combined score for the nation (1509). For the Class of 2009, the SAT mean scores for MCPS males, females, and students of different races/ethnicities were significantly higher than the national SAT mean scores for the same groups of students.

Particularly noteworthy are improvements among African American graduates in the Class of 2009, who recorded increases of 5.5 percentage points in SAT participation and 20 points in SAT mean combined performance compared with the Class of 2008. On average, MCPS African American students in the Class of 2009 outperformed their counterparts in Maryland and the nation by 93 and 80 points, respectively.

Students from all 25 high schools contributed to the notable accomplishments attained by the district in 2009. At 18 of the 25 high schools, at least 75 percent of graduates took the SAT. Sixteen high schools attained SAT mean combined scores above the national average of 1509; eight attained SAT mean combined scores of 1650 or higher; and three attained SAT mean combined scores of 1800 or higher.

Results of the MCPS Class of 2009 participation and performance on the ACT assessment of college readiness were released in July. They show a steady increase in ACT participation over the past five years, from 1,165 students in 2005 to 2,602 in 2009. Although the number of test takers doubled over the past five years, ACT composite scores rose from 22.7 for the Class of 2005 to 23.5 for the Class of 2009. The ACT consists of assessments in English, mathematics, reading, and science that are designed to measure skills needed for success in first-year college coursework.

SAT and ACT participation and performance are key milestones on the path to college and workplace readiness. Analysis of postsecondary outcomes of MCPS graduates confirms that graduates who take the SAT are more likely to enroll in college and to earn a four-year degree within six years.

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