South Carolina students outperformed the nation on the SAT and Advanced Placement exams this year, the S.C. Department of Education announced Thursday.
Students in the Palmetto State scored 15 points above the national average on the SAT and exceeded the nation on eight out of the top 10 tested subjects on Advanced Placement exams, according to a news release that cited numbers released Thursday by the College Board.
““These results illustrate the importance of an education system that is based off multiple measures, State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. “While there is still work to be done in other areas, the data from these two rigorous national assessments prove that South Carolina students can surpass their peers nationally and that our schools are moving in the right direction.”
A total of 22,141 students in South Carolina, or 50 percent of the class of 2018, took the SAT, which is an increase of 5.7 percent over last year’s class, according to the release. The state’s overall mean score was 1064, which is 15 points above the national mean of 1049.
Additionally, South Carolina’s mean score on the English, reading and writing portion was 543, ahead of the national mean of 529, according to the release. African-American student participation in the SAT in South Carolina was at 26 percent in 2018, more than twice the national participation rate of 13 percent.
On the Advanced Placement — or AP — exams, South Carolina saw growth in three major areas: the number of students taking the exams; the number of exams; and the number of AP exams with scores of three or higher.
An AP score of 3 indicates a candidate who is qualified to take college-level courses, according to the Department of Education.
Thursday’s announcement follows the release of assessment data for 2018 South Carolina students who took the ACT, which showed that S.C. graduates’ scores composite score dipped from 18.7 in 2017 to 18.3 in 2018. More, 14 percent of graduates met all four ACT college readiness benchmarks, which is down from 15 percent in 2017.
A total of 53,743 South Carolina graduates took the ACT in 2018, according to the Department of Education.