5 Howard high schools improve overall SAT scores County director of testing says taking more courses helped students improve

November 26, 1995|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

The graduating classes of five of Howard County's eight high schools earned higher scores last year on the national Scholastic Assessment Test than the classes of 1994.

The average SAT math score rose two points last year to 524, and the average verbal score increased six points to 458.

The average math score of 524 and the average total score of 982 were the highest in county history, Leslie Walker-Bartnick, the county's director of testing, told the Howard County school board Tuesday night.

The SAT is an exam used in the college admissions process, and it is intended to indicate how students will perform academically during their first year of college. About 75 percent of last year's seniors took the SAT sometime during high school, down from 81 percent of the class of 1994.

The county's average combined score of 982 was significantly higher than both the state average of 909 and the national average of 910. While both Howard's and the national average scores rose eight points last year, the Maryland average increased only one point.

Dr. Walker-Bartnick said Howard's results demonstrated one essential factor to earning high scores on the SAT -- taking as many classes as possible. Students who take more classes in Howard high schools tend to score better on the SAT, she said.

"Year after year, the more classes you take the better off you are going to do, regardless of all other factors," Dr. Walker-Bartnick said.

Males continued to perform better than females on the math portion of the SAT, scoring an average of 31 points higher. Asian-American students also did far better than the county average on the math section -- by an average of 48 points.

Among individual schools, Glenelg High School's average combined score rose the most in Howard, up 42 points to 1,004. Howard High School's average score decreased the most, down 32 points to 906. Centennial High School's average score remained the highest in the county at 1,050, despite decreasing two points from 1994.

Howard County students also took more advanced placement exams last spring, indicating that more students are taking more challenging courses.

Last spring, 475 Howard students took 792 AP exams, an increase of 55 students and 137 tests from 1994. Nearly 83 percent of the students received a score that would permit them to earn college credit, an increase of 2.6 percentage points from 1994.

Howard high school SAT scores

Here's how Howard County students performed on the Scholastic Assessment Test. The 1994 category refers to students who graduated in 1994, and 1995 refers to students who graduated last spring:

School

Atholton

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

.. ... ... ... 429 .. .. .. 449

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... .. ... ... 504 .. .. .. 513

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... .. ... 933 .. .. .. 962

Centennial

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... .. ... 479 .. .. .. 481

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 573 .. .. .. 569

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... .. 1,052 .. ... 1,050

Glenelg

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

... .. ... ... 453 .. .. .. 470

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

.. ... ... ... 509 .. .. .. 534

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

.. ... ... 962 .. .. .. 1,004

Hammond

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

... .. ... ... 458 .. .. .. 450

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 507 .. .. .. 497

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 965 .. .. .. 947

Howard

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

... .. ... ... 441 .. .. .. 427

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

.. .. .. .. .. 498 .. .. .. 479

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 938 .. .. .. 906

Mount Hebron

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... .. ... 448 .. .. .. 451

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 532 .. .. .. 531

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

.. ... ... ... 980 .. .. .. 982

Oakland Mills

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... .. ... 448 .. .. .. 464

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

.. .. .. .. .. 515 .. .. .. 518

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

.. ... ... ... 963 .. .. .. 982

Wilde Lake

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

.. ... ... ... 441 .. .. .. 460

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 511 .. .. .. 518

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 952 .. .. .. 978

COUNTY AVERAGE

Verbal ... ... 1994 ... ... 1995

... .. ... ... 452 .. .. .. 458

Math ... .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 522 .. .. .. 524

Total .. .. .. 1994 ... ... 1995

... ... ... .. 974 .. .. .. 982

Source: Howard County Public Schools

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