Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2018

GCS Students Excel on SAT, Advanced Placement

Greenville County Schools students outperformed the State and Nation on the SAT college entrance exam and increased last year’s passage rate on Advanced Placement (AP) exams by 1.6 percentage points, according to information released today by The College Board.

A total of 2,421 GCS seniors from the class of 2018 took the SAT, posting an average score of 1089, 40 points higher than the national average of 1049 for public school students and 25 points above the state average of 1064.

Five GCS high schools averaged scores greater than 1100, while 9 of 14 scored above the national SAT average for public schools. Schools scoring at or above the national average are Riverside High (1171), J.L. Mann High Academy (1147), Eastside High (1130), Wade Hampton High (1109), Mauldin High (1108), Woodmont High (1092), Blue Ridge High (1068), Greenville High Academy (1059), and Travelers Rest High (1054).

SAT scores for the Class of 2018 reflect the second year of a new baseline due to significant changes to the test that include moving from a 2400-point scale to a 1600-point scale in 2016. The SAT features two sections, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math, with each being worth 800 points.

“Students in Greenville County Schools continue to outperform the state and national averages on the SAT,” said Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster. “We provide our students with many opportunities to take rigorous, college-level courses, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate, thus giving them the opportunity be better prepared for college and to earn college credit in high school.”

The College Board also released Advanced Placement (AP) test results today.  AP courses are designed to provide high school students with college-level curricula and feature prominently in Greenville County Schools’ Graduation Plus initiative, which focuses on providing opportunities for students to earn college credit and/or career certification in addition to a South Carolina diploma. 

Students scoring a three or better (on a five-point scale) on a certified AP exam are eligible to receive college credit at many colleges and universities.  In the 2017-18 school year, high school students in Greenville County took 7,862 AP exams across 30 different subjects. Of those, 59.3 percent scored a three or better, up from 57.7 percent in 2017. This translates into potential college credit for GCS students in 4,583 courses.  AP course offerings range from Art History and Music Theory to Physics, Calculus, and Biology. 

The percentage of AP exams with scores of 3 to 5 for GCS students was higher than both the state and nation in 20 out of 31 subject areas.

Advanced Placement students who meet rigorous requirements are also recognized by The College Board as AP Scholars, AP Scholars with Honor, AP Scholars with Distinction, or National AP Scholars based on the number of AP tests taken and the results of those tests. 

In AP summary reports released today, 1,066 GCS students were recognized for these honors, up from 990 last year.  Eastside, Greenville, J. L. Mann High Academy, Mauldin, Riverside, and Wade Hampton High Schools had more than 100 students qualifying as AP award recipients.

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