Average SAT scores of 2013 graduating seniors in the Beaufort County School District increased significantly from the previous year, the College Board reported.
Average scores for Beaufort County public school seniors increased 48 points, from 1,383 in 2012 to 1,431 in 2013. Average scores at four of the district’s five high schools improved, while scores at one decreased:
• Hilton Head High School’s 2013 seniors posted the district’s highest average scores at 1,548, up from 1,479 last year (81 percent of seniors tested).
• Bluffton High’s average was 1,449, up from 1,420 last year (65 percent tested).
• Beaufort High’s average was 1,403, down from 1,419 last year (72 percent tested).
• Battery Creek High’s average was 1,332, up from 1,265 last year (42 percent tested).
• Whale Branch Early College High’s average was 1,169, up from 1,155 last year (49 percent tested).
Statewide, South Carolina’s overall 2013 state public school average was up one point to 1,423. The national average was down three points to 1,474.
“After several years of relatively flat SAT scores, it’s good to see a solid increase from our 2013 seniors,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “The hope is that this year’s performance will start a long-term trend of steady improvement.”
Chief Instructional Services Officer Dereck Rhoads said the district’s high schools are working to make more effective use of individual student feedback from preliminary SAT and ACT tests. Careful review of those results should help teachers build on students’ academic strengths and work to address their weaknesses, he said.
Rhoads also suggested that improving academic results at the district’s elementary and middle schools could result in improved SAT and ACT scores as those students move on to high school. “These are solid gains, but we still have a lot of work to do if we’re going to reach and surpass the national average,” he said.
Moss said the key to doing well on either the SAT or ACT college entrance exams continues to be preparation.
“Both college entrance exams tell students right up front, ‘If you want to do well on our tests, these are the courses you need to take,’ ” Moss said. “High school guidance counselors always let students know that they need to be academically prepared in order to get good scores. College readiness, whether for a two-year or four-year institution, is all about preparation.”