OSPI NEWS RELEASE: More Students Taking, Passing Advanced Tests

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More Students Taking, Passing Advanced Tests

OLYMPIA—October 26, 2018—Results released by the College Board and ACT show 2017–18 participation rates and performance for SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement (AP) tests.

Chris Reykdal

In 2018, Washington students performed better than the national average in all ACT college readiness benchmarks, which include English language arts, math, and science. Washington students also scored higher than the national average on both measures of the SAT, English language arts and math.

“Our students have made gains in all three of these advanced tests,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “One of the most exciting things we are seeing is how, even as more students are taking AP tests each year, the percentage of students achieving scores of 3, 4, and 5 (the scores typically required to receive college credit) is increasing at the same pace.”

Participation also increased for the SAT. In 2017, 40,379 students took the SAT. In 2018, the number rose to 44,709, a 10.7 percent increase. Although participation in the ACT did not increase in 2018, student performance did. Washington students performed better in English, math, and reading than they did in 2017, while scores remained steady in science.  

In addition, more students of color are accessing SAT tests than they did in 2017. For example, the percentage of students who identify as Pacific Islander who took the test increased by 46.4 percent. For students who identify as Latino, the increase was 6.8 percent; and for students who identify as two or more races, the increase was 13.1 percent.

“I am encouraged to see more students of color and students experiencing poverty accessing advanced tests each year,” Reykdal said. “We know when students have access to advanced courses and tests, they are more likely to pursue post-secondary training, education, or credentials.”

Superintendent Reykdal’s 2019–21 budget proposal includes a request for additional funding to help students experiencing poverty pay for the costs of dual credit courses, including AP. Students experiencing poverty can also take SAT and PSAT exams for free through the College Board’s fee waiver program.

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About OSPI

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

OSPI Communications Team