FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 26, 2003
Illinois college-bound seniors continue to outperform nation
on SAT, AP exams
Illinois high school students who took the SAT college-entrance
examination and its Advanced Placement tests outperformed
their counterparts throughout the nation, State Superintendent
of Education Robert E. Schiller reported today.
"These Illinois college-bound seniors, their parents
and schools are to be commended, Schiller said. "It
is clear they set the standard for the rest of the state and
their peers around the country.
On Advanced Placement tests, scores of 4 or 5, the two highest
scores, were achieved by 44 per cent of Illinois students,
compared to 34 per cent for students throughout the country.
The most frequently-taken AP examination subjects for Illinois
students in 2002-2003 were United States History, English
Literature and Composition, and Calculus.
The State Board provides incentives for schools to increase
participation on AP exams. In addition, many Illinois schools,
including small, rural schools, can now access AP courses
for their students through the Illinois Virtual High School.
Data released today by SAT show strong increases in AP test
participation in Illinois. The number of Illinois students
taking AP tests increased to more than 69,500 in 2002-03 from
37,000 in the 2001-2002 school year. The average AP score
was 3.26 on a scoring range of 1-5. Slightly more than 72
per cent of Illinois tests were scored higher than 3 per cent.
Mathematics scores for Illinois 2003 public and nonpublic
high school graduates who took the SAT I averaged 77 points
above the national average in 2003 and verbal scores were
76 points higher. In addition, student gains over the last
ten years were higher for Illinois students than any other
state. Scores are 33 points higher for verbal and 38 points
higher for math than in 1993.
The average SAT I verbal score for all public and nonpublic
graduates tested was 583, up 5 points from 2002 and 33 from
the 1993 average of 550; for mathematics, public school students
average 608, exceeding the overall state average by 12 points.
About 73 per cent of students who took the SAT I were from
public schools. Their verbal scores averaged 586, three points
higher than the total group. In mathematics, public school
students averaged 608, exceeding the overall state average
by 12 points.
About 11 per cent of Illinois' high school students take
the SAT, compared to the ACT that is now given to almost all
public high school students as a part of the Prairie State
Achievement Examination. Each of the SAT I tests is scored
on an 800-point scale.