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Maine 2006 SAT Results for College-Bound Seniors Released by the College Board
PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and Advanced Placement Results Included in State Report
August 29, 2006
On August 29th, the College Board released its state reports, containing SAT results for 2006 high school graduates and PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) junior and sophomore reports for the 2005-2006 school year. Advanced Placement (AP) test results were also reported.
These results do not include the SAT testing done by all Maine 11th graders in April to comply with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The SAT scores in the current report are for the seniors who graduated last June not the 11th graders in Maine who took the April SAT. The 2006 11th grade NCLB scores will be reported by the Maine Department of Education this fall.
The College Board reported that 10,895 Maine students graduating in 2006 took the SAT at some time during their high school careers; of these, 1,412 took another SAT subject test as well. The three most popular subjects were Literature, Mathematics Level I, and American History.
83% of the SAT takers in Maine indicated that they took the PSAT/NMSQT at some point in their sophomore or junior year – an increase of 4% over 2005. The average SAT scores in Maine for students who previously took the PSAT/NMSQT were significantly higher than for students who did not take the earlier test:
The College Board also reports the Core Academic Preparation for college-bound seniors, based upon student responses to a questionnaire included with the SAT that includes 4 or more units of English, 3 or more units of Mathematics, 3 or more units of Natural Sciences, and 3 or more units of Social Sciences and History – for a total of 13 or more units. A unit is equal to a year of study in the subject area. According to the College Board, higher SAT scores for Maine students are associated, in most cases, with the addition of each 1.5 units in these core subjects to the base of 13 units.
These data support Maine’s broader vision of supporting curriculum changes to increase core academic subjects to make college an option for all students.
Maine students taking the SAT most requested to have scores sent to the admissions offices of the following Maine public colleges: University of Maine Orono (42.3%), University of Southern Maine (22.7%), and University of Maine Farmington (10%). Among the private colleges, Colby received scores from 6.8% of the Maine test-takers; Bowdoin, 4.7%; Bates, 3.7%. Southern Maine Community College received scores from 5.7%; Eastern Maine Community College, 4.6%; Central Maine Community College, 2.9%.
The College Board reported an increase of 10.4% in the number of Maine sophomores taking the PSAT/NMSQT this year over last year (14469). Maine Females averaged higher scores (42.5) in Critical Reading than Maine males (40.9) and in Writing (44.4 vs. 42.0). Maine males averaged slightly higher scores (41.7) in Mathematics than Maine females (41.1). Nationally, females scored 43.1 and males scored 42 in Critical Reading; females scored 43.5 on the Mathematics and males scored 44.7. On Writing, females scored 45.8 and males scored 44 across the country.
For the last two years, the Maine Department of Education has paid the fees for any Maine 10th grader wishing to take the PSAT/NMSQT, and this October the PSAT/NMSQT will be required of all Maine’s 10th graders.
There was a drop in the number of juniors taking the PSAT/NMSQT in 2005. This may be due to more students taking the test as sophomores. Only scores from the PSAT/NMSQT taken in the junior year are counted in awarding National Merit Scholarships. Maine PSAT/NMSQT junior scores in Critical Reading increased slightly from 2004 by .1 from 46.0 (females scored 46.7 and males scored 45.4). Scores on the Mathematics portion dropped slightly by.2 (males 46.9 and females 45.5). Writing scores dropped from 49.4 to 48.4 for females and from 47.6 to 46.2 for males.
The College Board reported a slight nationwide drop-off in SAT scores over the last five years that were reflected in Maine’s 2006 scores. The number of college-bound seniors taking the SAT more than once also declined in 2006. This may be due to the new SAT implemented in March 2005, when a new writing section was introduced. Scores generally increase when the student has takes the SAT more than once. In addition, Maine is among the top ten states in terms of the percentage of seniors having taking the SAT, according to the College Board, and the inclusion of a larger population with a greater range of abilities can result in a decrease in the scores.
Maine’s 2006 SAT scores (with 73% participation) were lower than the national average with 501 in Critical Reading (vs. 503 for the nation), 501 for Mathematics (vs. 518 for the nation), and 491 for Writing (vs. 497 for the nation).
The number of students taking at least one Advanced Placement test increased in all Maine schools increased by 9.9% and by 10.9% in public schools. 5855 students took 8714 exams representing approximately 17% of all 11th and 12th graders. The percentage of tests taken by public school students that had a score of three or higher increased 6.7% or 60% of all exams. The number of exams taken by economically disadvantaged students increased from 667 to 771 demonstrating increased opportunities for more students to take college level courses while in high school. The most common tests taken were in English Literature (1550), US History (1504), and Calculus (1053). The greatest increase was in Statistics and English Language. Support for new teachers is provided through a mentoring program in all of these areas.
The percentages of minority students in Maine taking AP tests increased significantly.
MINORITY PARTICIPATION IN AP
The work that has been supported through the Advanced Placement Incentive Program, funded through the US Department of Education, and the AP Strategy in High School Redesign supported through the National Governors’ Association is providing Maine teachers and students with more opportunities to access AP classes regardless of where they live. Courses offered in schools has increased significantly through teacher training, support for materials and courses offered through distance learning.
The report also provides some insight in to the aspirations of our students. There was a significant increase in the percent of students wanting to obtain a bachelor’s degree. In addition, the Department has contracted with the College Board to provide access to SAT Online test preparation materials to all students in grade 9 through 12, their teachers, and administrators of their schools. This fall, the College Board and the Maine Department of Education will conduct regional workshops for teachers on using this resource in the classroom.
Please contact Wanda Monthey (207-624-6831) for more information about the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, and AP in Maine.
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