Davie students rank well on SAT, ACT

Published 9:01 am Thursday, November 30, 2017

The graduating class of 2017 from Davie County Schools was highly ranked in the state for their average SAT and ACT test scores.

For the SAT, a college admissions exam published by The College Board, Davie County Schools’ 2017 graduating class scored well enough to be ranked second in the Piedmont-Triad region and 18th out of 115 school districts in the state. The average total score was 1112, higher than the North Carolina average score of 1074 and the United States average score of 1044.

In March 2016, The College Board redesigned the SAT to better measure the reading and math students will see in college and at work. The new SAT has two parts, both with a score range of 200-800. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) section and the Math section aim to provide a well-rounded view of what a student can achieve in credit bearing college courses.

Because of the redesign, this year’s scores should not be compared to previous years, but used as a baseline for future years.

The 2017 graduating class is the first cohort where the majority of students taking the SAT in the US – 93 percent – took the new redesigned SAT.

Davie students performed better on each of the two sections than state and national averages, with average scores of 562 on the ERW section and 550 on the Math section. The NC and US averages on the ERW were 542 and 527, respectively, and 532 and 517, respectively, on the math. Forty-nine percent of graduates in the US took the SAT, as compared to 44 percent of graduates in NC, and 40 percent of graduates in Davie County.

The participation rate is down in Davie County Schools and across North Carolina from previous years, mostly due to the universal and free offering of the ACT to all juniors in public schools.

The ACT, another test that measures college readiness, is administered to all students in North Carolina in 11th grade. Because of almost universal participation, these test scores give a better idea of the college readiness of all students in the graduating class. The ACT is comprised of four tests, including English, Math, Reading and Science. Each test has a high score of 36, and a composite score is also provided.

For 2017 graduates from Davie County Schools, the average composite score dropped from 20.5 (2016 graduating class) to 20.0, with all average individual test scores down slightly. All average subtest scores are higher than the average state scores for each test. The average composite score in NC was 19.1 and the average composite score in the United States, where not all students take the ACT, is 21.0.

Davie County Schools ranked second in the Piedmont-Triad region for average composite score, and 13th out of 115 school districts in the state.

“I am proud of our students’ performance as measured by the SAT and ACT,” said Dr. Darrin Hartness, Davie Schools superintendent. “Our students rank near the top in our region and state, and we will continue to strive to ensure they have a solid academic background as they complete high school and continue their education or directly to work. While used to predict how well a student may perform in college, these standardized tests are just two snapshots in time.

“We must continue to partner with parents and our community to instill the importance of critical thinking, problem solving, perseverance, good character, creativity, and curiosity. These qualities are a result of great teaching and learning; they are not measured by a standardized test, but are essential to be a successful and productive citizen,” Hartness said.