- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Still higher than state average
By LAURA DUKES
Mirroring statewide patterns, Calvert County Public Schools SAT scores continue to be slightly on a decline.
This year’s results, released by the school system Tuesday afternoon, showed CCPS test-takers earned an average composite SAT score of 1517, compared to 1528 in 2011 and 1540 in 2010.
The highest possible composite score is 2400.
According to CCPS policy and communications specialist Gail Bennett, Northern High School earned the highest score in the county with an average composite score of 1558, followed by Huntingtown High School with 1536, Patuxent High School with 1512 and Calvert High School with 1428.
This year, Calvert fell slightly behind St. Mary’s County Public Schools, which earned an average composite score of 1539, but maintained a large lead to Charles County Public Schools, which earned a score of 1447.
From 2011 to 2012, the average scores in the SAT subject areas for CCPS decreased from 515 to 509 in critical reading and 499 to 493 in writing, but saw a small increase of 514 to 515 in math.
The press release from CCPS said 64 percent of the Calvert County Public Schools graduating seniors took the SAT in 2012, compared to 60 percent in 2008.
The press release also stated that the SAT composite score for Maryland decreased six points from 1493 in 2008 to 1487 in 2012, and the total composite score for all SAT test-takers decreased nine points from 1507 in 2008 to 1498 in 2012.
“I am excited to see the increased participation of our seniors in the SAT program, because taking the SAT exam [opens] doors for students after graduation,” CCPS Superintendent Jack Smith was quoted as saying in the press release.
Calvert High School senior Rachel Carroll, 17, said she took the SAT in March and was planning to take the test again in October.
The St. Leonard resident said she earned her highest score in writing, and found that to be the least stressful portion of the test.
“I liked how with the essay it really gives you the freedom to express yourself. It’s not just cut and dry — there are a lot of ways to approach the question,” Carroll said, adding that math was the toughest section for her.
“It mainly focuses on geometry and algebra, which I learned two and three years ago, so that was a little rusty,” she said.
Carroll said she was planning to do more math practice problems prior to re-taking the exam next month.
Shelby Potts, the executive director of Southern Maryland College Access Network, or SoMD CAN, said she would encourage all students to not only take the SAT but also the ACT exam, which she said also had a section on science.
Potts said while many factors go into four-year college admissions, for the majority of colleges, “those SAT scores are definitely considered.”
Potts recommended students take a look at the website Fairtest.org, which lists several colleges for which under some circumstances SAT scores are not used when making admissions decisions.
Some of the colleges listed include American University in Washington, D.C., Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn., George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Loyola College of Maryland in Baltimore and New York University in New York City.
“Our students work really, really hard, but some students just don’t test well, especially when it’s timed,” Potts said.
Though SoMD CAN does not offer SAT prep courses, Potts said the free websites, CollegeBoard.org and Number2.com, offer free sample tests.
Potts also suggested that students visit local libraries, which “have books and resources that will help them.”
She said she was unsure as to why CCPS’s scores saw a decrease this year.
“There are a lot more students taking the test, which is a good thing,” Potts said.