News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 24, 2012

Vigo County SAT scores improve

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Students in the Vigo County School Corp. increased SAT scores in all three tested areas from 2011 to 2012, according to results released today.

The corporation verbal/critical reading score increased from 492 to 497; the math score improved from 491 to 497; the writing score increased from 472 to 476; and the total score improved 15 points from 1,455 to 1,470.  

West Vigo High School had the highest number of SAT test takers in over five years.

Corporation total scores reached 1,470, which met the state average of 1,470. The corporation exceeded the state average in verbal/critical reading and met the state average in writing.

Nationally, SAT scores were 1,498, down two points from the previous year. Verbal/critical reading was 496, down one; math remained the same at 514; and writing was 488, down one point.

“We are pleased to see improvement in the performance of last year’s seniors across all four areas, verbal/critical reading, math, writing and total scores,” said Karen Goeller, Vigo County schools deputy superintendent. “The SAT is important in the college admissions process, and our students are demonstrating their accomplishments with these improved scores.”

Students at Terre Haute North Vigo and Terre Haute South Vigo improved in all four areas, verbal/critical reading, math, writing, and total scores. The corporation improved 15 points, while the state improved one point.

Research shows that when students take challenging courses in high school they perform better on the SAT, Goeller said. Teachers in all content areas, from science to art to technology, are including higher levels of reading, writing, and math experiences in their daily lessons.

Students in Vigo County also have other enrichment opportunities, including academic competitions, summer programs, and camps.

The majority of students take the SAT for the first time during the spring semester of their junior year and test again during the fall semester of their senior year.

The SAT measures what students have learned in school and their ability to succeed in college-level courses. The best way to get ready for the SAT is to do well in school, take challenging courses, study hard and read as much as possible.

Research continues to show that short-term, for-profit test-prep courses don’t increase test scores significantly, and such courses can’t replace years of solid work in the classroom, according to a school district news release.

Each year the College Board conducts a statistical analysis which shows that demographic variables impact student performance on the SAT. These factors include academic courses taken by students in high school, parent income and education of parents.

Higher SAT scores provide more college options for our students, Goeller said. Many colleges make admissions and scholarship decisions based partly on SAT scores.