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State: High School Seniors Made Gains on SAT Scores

The mean SAT score for graduating seniors in Maryland public schools increased by 20 points for the class of 2018, according to data released by the College Board Thursday and publicized by the Maryland State Department of Education.

The composite SAT score for graduating Maryland public school students improved to 1066 for the class of 2018, up from 1046 in 2017. That compares to a national public school average of 1049, up three points from 1044 in 2017.

A total of 40,639 Marylanders in the class of 2018 took the SAT — a record — compared to 36,459 in 2017.

Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, said the assessment results indicate a growing number of Maryland students are better prepared for college or the workforce as they complete high school. “These tests serve as an important yardstick for our students as they ready themselves for life after graduation,” she said.

The mean score for the evidence-based reading and writing section of the SAT (English language arts) for Maryland public school students in the class of 2018 students was 538, compared to 528 for the class of 2017, while the mean score for math was 528, compared to 518 in the class of 2017.

Maryland’s SAT results improved across-the-board in 2018.  The mean composite score for Asian-American students increased from 1164 to 1221; for African-American students, up from 937 to 947; for Hispanic students from 1013 to 1024, and for white students from 1134 to 1142.

Male students had a mean score of 1075, while female students’ mean was 1058.  Females scored better on the evidence-based reading and writing portion (540 compared to 535), while males had a higher mean score on mathematics (540 to 519). The SAT tests are scored on a 200 to 800-point scale for each section.

ACT Results

Although SAT remains the dominant pre-college exam in Maryland, a record number of graduating seniors in the state took the ACT in 2018. There were 15,100 members of the class of 2018 who took the ACT, compared to 12,664 for the class of 2017.

The average composite score for Maryland public school students dipped for the class of 2018, to 22.1 from 23.4 for the class of 2017. Maryland’s scores remain above the national average, 20.8, which dipped slightly from 21.0 in 2017.

Maryland public school students scored above the national averages in all four ACT categories, English (21.4 to 20.2), math (21.8 to 20.5), reading (22.6 to 21.3) and science (21.9 to 20.7). The ACT is scored on a 1-36 point scale.

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