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Washington Sees Rise in SAT Participation
More students with more diversity are choosing to take the college-entrance exam

OLYMPIA — September 26, 2013 — Washington’s 12th graders earned a combined average score of 1526 on the 2013 SAT, according to figures released by the College Board today. This is the nation’s fourth highest score among states with at least 50 percent of eligible students taking the test. The national average composite score is 1474.

Washington students scored very close to the top, especially in math. In fact, only two states in the 50 percent-plus testing category scored higher than Washington in math, both only by one point.

“I am encouraged by the ever-increasing number of students who take the SAT,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “The goal of earning a college education is expanding to more and more students. Our state continues to perform well above the national average on this test.”

The number of Washington public school students taking the test increased by 4.6 percent in 2012, compared to a 0.8 percent increase nationally. Washington’s SAT participation rate of 55 percent was higher than all but two Western states (Texas at 56 percent and Idaho at 100 percent).

Participation rate changes:
  Washington Nation
American Indian +6.9% +4.6%
Asian +2.7% +1.7%
Black +8.8% -1.9%
Hispanic +14.6% +6.5%
White +2.3% -1.1%

The SAT is a legislatively approved alternative to Washington’s high school state exams in reading, math and writing. If a student does not pass a state exam, he or she can apply to use qualifying scores from the SAT to meet the assessment requirement for graduation. Students who transfer into Washington public schools in 11th or 12th grade from out of state or an in-state non-public school setting can apply for a “transfer student waiver” to use one of the alternatives without taking a state exam first.

Advanced Placement Tests
The College Board also released preliminary results for Advanced Placement (AP) performance and participation by Washington students. Early AP results show state student participation increased across all ethnic groups.

Overall, the number of AP test takers increased by 5.7 percent this year. And the number of students who earned a 3, 4 or 5 on the exam increased by 6.6 percent.

A total of 40,616 Washington public school students took 69,582 AP exams.

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About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 11/4/2013

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