Students Outperform State and National SAT Averages

SAT Scores Soar as AISD Students Outperform State, National Averages
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May 17, 2017—Amarillo ISD students scored higher than state and national averages on SAT exams taken in March, and raised the District’s average score by 27 points over the previous year’s scores, while state and national averages decreased.

The results are compared to scores nationwide for tests given on SAT School Day, a day set aside for schools to offer the SAT to students during a school day. In AISD, March 1 was the day all juniors took the exam at no cost.

AISD students scored an average of 969, compared to the state average of 934, and the national average of 954.  The 2016 average score for AISD students was 942 and was in line with the state average, but behind the national score. A broader effort to encourage a greater level of test preparation is believed to be behind the boost in scores.

“We made an intentional focus on educating our students about where and how they can better prepare themselves for the test,” said AISD Director of Counseling, Tracey Morman. “We made sure they had individual access to Khan Academy test prep so that it would be a seamless process for them to log on to that website and study. We know a student can improve their score by as much as 200 points if they put in the study time on Khan Academy, so we felt that was an important step to not just make available to them but to actively encourage them to utilize.”

Morman points out many school districts that participate in SAT School Day only test students who elect to take the exam, making the AISD scores even more encouraging. “Because we test all juniors, not just those self-selecting to test, a 27 point gain over last year is very positive,” she said.

Additionally, AISD saw positive gains in the number of AP exams given. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are rigorous, college-level courses for which students can earn college credit depending on their end-of-course test score. This school year, 2,895 AP tests were given, representing a ten percent increase over 2016. Students are not required to take the test and those who choose not to cannot receive college credit for their course. Morman says there is more at stake for a student than just earning the college credit.

 “A student who scores a three or higher, out of a maximum score of five, is guaranteed college credit at public universities in Texas. We want them to take the test and score three or higher. But even just by taking the test, a student is 20 percent more likely to complete college on time.” 

AISD students are offered 21 AP and dual credit opportunities at the high school level and 12 pre-AP courses are available to middle school students. 

SAT Scores compared to state national

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