RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia public school students continue to score above the national average on the SAT college-admissions test, the Virginia Department of Education reported Monday.
The state's public school class of 2012 scored 17 points higher than the national average in reading, 11 points higher in writing and 5 points higher in math.
The average math score of 510 was up 3 points from the previous year. The reading score of 508 dropped by one point, and the average writing score of 492 was unchanged. Nationally, achievement dropped slightly in all three areas.
"By incorporating more rigorous and challenging standards in all subjects, we are preparing our students with 21st-century skills," said David M. Foster, president of the Virginia Board of Education. "The board takes seriously its duty to ensure that students graduating from a Virginia public school are prepared to succeed in college and the workplace."
The Washington Post reports that Maryland students scored an average 489 in reading, 498 in math and 480 in writing.
In D.C., graduates scored the lowest. Students scored an average 401 in reading, 395 in math and 388 in writing, the Post says.
Sixty-eight percent of Virginia's 2012 public high school graduates took the SAT. Four out of every 10 public school students taking the test were members of a minority group, and students in all five ethnic groups the College Board reports outperformed their peers nationwide on all three SAT subsections.
When SAT results for private and home-schooled students were included in the overall results, Virginia ranked above the national average in just two of the three categories. The all-student average of 510 in reading was 14 points higher, and the writing score of 495 was 7 points higher. However, the average of 512 in math was 2 points lower than the national average.
The College Board also reported that the number of Virginia public school students who took at least one Advanced Placement exam in high school increased by 5.7 percent this year, and the number of tests taken increased by 9 percent.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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