By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Vandegrift High School and Leander ISD have SAT scores that beat the state and national averages, and VHS outscored LISD by 33 points or more in Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing sections.
LISD Superintendent Bret Champion announced that last year 1,677 graduates took the SAT, a 17-percent increase from the year before, and the total score on the college-entrance exam increased by six points from the graduating class of 2014 to the class of 2015.
Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200 – 800 points.
LISD had a Critical Reading score of 536, up compared to 531 in 2014. VHS posted a score of 572. The state average was 470 while the national average was 495.
VHS scored 583 in Mathematics while LISD posted 550, which was the same as 2014’s score. The state average was 486 and the national was 511.
In the Writing section, LISD had an average score of 509, up one point from 508 in 2014. VHS posed a score of 547 while the state’s score was 454 and the national score was 484.
“Over the past two years, Vandegrift seniors moved their average SAT score up 84 points,” said Christa Martin, VHS dean of instruction. “
Every point gained can benefit students with the goal of meeting college admissions requirements, she said.
“The piece that many students and parents may not know is that SAT has a hidden bonus apart from admissions: scholarships,” Martin said. “Most universities use SAT/ ACT scores for as a factor when awarding merit, need-based and special university scholarships. There is great financial incentive to raise that SAT/ ACT score.”
Students interested in schools like the University of Arkansas, UNLV, University of Colorado and many others public institutes have SAT tied tuition packages that will make going out of state an affordable option.
“SAT and ACT are important investments that are well worth study time and effort,” Martin said.
The College Board’s 2014 SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark revealed that 55 percent of LISD SAT test-takers met the benchmark, while only 42 percent of SAT test-takers met that mark nationally.
“In our efforts to ensure that all students graduate with every option open, Leander ISD is very proud that more students are taking the SAT and that our students are doing well on this challenging college entrance exam,” Champion said.
“We are striving to increase students’ access to college opportunities, and so the typical LISD student will take two versions of the PSAT before sitting for the actual SAT. These most recent SAT scores indicate that LISD’s college-readiness systems, including early and frequent exposure to these college entrance exams, are indeed supporting student success,” Champion said.
On Oct. 14, eighth- and ninth-grade students took the PSAT 8/9, while all 10th– and 11th-grade students took the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test).
These tests were administered at no cost to LISD students. The Hill Country Education Foundation partially funded the PSAT 8/9 administration for eighth-grade students, while LISD funded the remaining balance. The costs for PSAT administrations for all high school students are covered by the district.
The PSAT 8/9 is the newly designed College Board assessment within the SAT Suite of Assessments, which includes the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT, that replaces the ReadiStep. Like the ReadiStep, PSAT 8/9 is a test that provides practice for, and exposure to, college entrance exams. The PSAT 8/9 is targeted to eighth- and ninth-grade level students, and the PSAT/NMSQT is a junior level assessment. PSAT 8/9 establishes a baseline for college and career readiness as students enter high school. Since PSAT 8/9 is vertically aligned with PSAT/NMSQT, students may preview the content and test structure using the PSAT Prep materials.
As the SAT is undergoing major revisions, the new exam won’t be out until 2016. Information regarding the redesigned SAT and free prep resources, such as practice materials, are available on district’s college- and career-readiness webpage.