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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

September 26, 2013

Oregon 2013 SAT Results Released

Oregon students continue to outperform nation but see slight declines in participation and performance

(Salem, Ore.)
– Today Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton announced the participation and performance of Oregon’s 2013 public school graduates on the SAT college entrance exam. Participation on the SAT was down slightly with 15,718, or 45%, of last year’s seniors taking the exam as compared with 15,858 in the class of 2012. Performance on the exam dipped in reading and math but held steady in writing. Nationwide, 43% of seniors took the SAT and Oregon continues to perform above the national average in all three subject areas. Of the 27 states with over 30% of students taking the exam, Oregon ranked 2nd in mean critical reading score and 6th in both mean math and writing scores.

“I am pleased to see that Oregon students continue to score well above the national average on the SAT,” said Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “Our results continue to be strong and that is something to be proud of. However, I am disappointed to see the declines in performance this year. By 2025, we want to see 80% of our students going on to higher education or workforce training programs. SAT results are one gauge of how prepared our students are for college-level work. In the coming years, I would like to see more of our students taking, and doing well on, these types of exams as we work to meet our state’s 40-40-20 goal.”

Results at a Glance
  • Oregon public school grads received a mean critical reading score of 516, down two points from last year. The national average was 491.
  • Oregon public school grads received a mean math score of 517, down four points from last year. The national average was 503.
  • Oregon public school grads received a mean writing score of 494, the same as the last several years. The national average was 480.

As was the case with Oregon’s recently released ACT results, Oregon students who took a strong core curriculum (4 or more years of English and 3 or more years of math, science, and social science) performed significantly better on the SAT. Another factor that impacted performance on the SAT was exposure to advanced placement, honors, or other accelerated courses. While there was a slight decline in the number of students taking the SAT, there was an increase in the number of students taking AP courses this last year as well as an increase in the number of graduates receiving a 3 or higher on an AP test, the score generally associated with receiving college credit.

In Oregon, the PSAT is offered to all sophomores free of charge. In addition to helping students prepare for the SAT, the exam results provide students and teachers with valuable early feedback that can help guide a student’s final years of high school. All students who take the PSAT have access to free tools to help build college-readiness, awareness, and preparation. My College QuickStart is an online career/college interest inventory that can help students start to explore future career and college options. AP Potential is another valuable tool that teachers can use to quickly and easily identify which specific Advanced Placement courses a student shows promise in based on their PSAT results.

Students of color are still less likely than their peers to take Advanced Placement courses. Tools such as AP Potential can be used to help identify students who have the potential to do well in an Advanced Placement course but who may not have considered enrolling without teacher or parental encouragement. Oregon students taking AP courses also have access to a range of tools and resources to help them better prepare to take, and succeed in, their AP exams thanks to a partnership between the Oregon Virtual School District and Apex Learning. Learn more about the Apex AP exam review resources online at http://oregonk-12.net.

“AP Potential is a powerful tool our teachers can use to break down barriers and perceptions about which students should be taking accelerated courses,” said Deputy Superintendent Saxton. “We must address the achievement gaps in our schools head on and AP Potential allows us to do just that. The data are clear. We have many more students in our schools with the potential to succeed in Advanced Placement courses. We also have an easy means of identifying them. If we are serious about closing this gap and getting all students ready for college, we have no excuse for not utilizing this tool and getting more students access to the rigorous instruction and possibility for college credits that AP courses provide.”

According to data released by the College Board, 31% of Oregon students who took the PSAT showed potential in one or more AP course. However, only 37% of those identified with potential ended up taking an AP exam and this percentage was even lower for students of color. Of those students whose PSAT results indicated potential for an AP course, only 16% of Native American, 30% of Black, and 34% of Hispanic students took an AP exam as compared to 37% of White and 52% of Asian students identified with potential.

For more information on Oregon or national SAT results, go to: www.collegeboard.org/SATPress.

Rob Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
Crystal Greene, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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