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Washington SAT Results Higher than National Average; Participation Rates Increase

OLYMPIA — September 26, 2017 — Washington state students performed higher on SAT exams than the national average and increased participation from 2016, according to results released today by the College Board.

Average scores for public school students were 536 in evidence-based reading and writing (ERW), and 531 in math. (Scores range from 200 to 800 on each exam.) Nationally, averages were 533 for ERW and 527 for math.

About five out of every eight public school students in the Class of 2017 (40,379 in total) took the SAT, which is used by many colleges and universities in determining admission and placement in courses. This is a 1.0 percent increase from 2016 participation rates.

Because a new SAT was given starting in January 2016, the averages cannot easily be compared to previous years.

“Washington students typically score above the national average on SATs,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “While testing is only one measure of student success, the fact that more students are willing to take the exams is a testament to the quality of teaching we have statewide.”

Reykdal noted that average scores by some groups of students lagged behind others. “The gaps in performance concern me,” he said. “They persist across most everything we measure. We made closing those gaps one of the central pieces of our Every Student Succeeds Act plan, which we released earlier this month. The plan will help schools identify and close those gaps.”

Results for student groups are as follows:

 

AVERAGE SCORE

GROUP

TEST TAKERS

TOTAL

ERW

MATH

All

40,379

1067

536

531

American Ind/Alaska Native

399

977

490

488

Asian

4,229

1114

547

567

Black/African Amer

2,141

928

468

460

Hispanic/Latino

6,903

968

486

481

Native Hawaiian/Other Pac Islander

392

924

460

464

White

21,736

1116

563

553

Two or more races

2,479

1101

555

546

No response

2,100

943

475

468

The College Board determined benchmark SAT scores. Students achieving at least the benchmark scores have a 75 percent chance of earning at least a “C” grade in a first semester, credit-bearing college course. For ERW, the benchmark is 480; for math, it is 530. About 72 percent of Washington students in the Class of 2017 met the benchmark in ERW, and about 52 percent met the benchmark in math.

Students from low-income households can take the exams for free through the College Board’s fee waiver program. In 2017, about one in six students in the Class of 2017 (16.6 percent) used the waiver. For those students, the average ERW score was 501 and the average math score was 500.

Participation increased in other tests given by the College Board. PSAT and related exams increased by 1.0 percent (91,930 total students) compared to 2016. And participation in Advanced Placement (AP) exams increased 5.7 percent (49,863 students).

Students who do not pass state tests can use qualifying scores on the SAT or AP exams to meet the assessment requirement for graduation.

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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 Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement 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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CONTACT:
Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 | nathan.olson@k12.wa.us

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 9/26/2017

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