FCPS scores are 42 points above the state’s average in Critical Reading, 57 points above the state’s average in Mathematics, and 50 points above the state’s average in Writing. SAT results compiled by the College Board show that FCPS students posted average scores of 550 in Critical Reading, 567 in Mathematics, and 542 in Writing for an overall composite score of 1659, up from last year’s overall composite score of 1654 (see Table 1). The state composite score was up two points and the national composite score down six points in comparison to last year’s scores.
Eight schools in FCPS made one-year gains in all three sections: Centreville, Chantilly, Marshall, Oakton, South County, South Lakes, and West Springfield High Schools and Hayfield Secondary School. Students at South Lakes High School posted the greatest gains by increasing the school’s Critical Reading average by 7 points, the Mathematics average by 28 points, and the Writing average by 6 points. Students at Marshall High School increased the Critical Reading average by 10 points, the Mathematics average by 4 points and the Writing average by 16 points. Students at South County High School increased the Critical Reading average by 5 points, the Mathematics average by 18 points and the Writing average by 7 points.
Of the 25 high schools in FCPS, 11 saw an increase in their Critical Reading average, 15 saw an increase in their Mathematics average, and 12 saw an increase in their Writing average over the last year. Centreville High School and Hayfield Secondary School have made steady gains in all three areas over the last three years.
- Additional highlights of the SAT results for FCPS include the following:
- FCPS students posted higher average scores than students in the state or nation by subgroup in Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing.
- FCPS Asian students exceeded the state average for Asian students by 21 points in Critical Reading, 31 points in Mathematics, and 29 points in Writing.
- FCPS Black students exceeded the state average for Black students by 42 points in Critical Reading, by 46 points in Mathematics, and by 46 points in Writing.
- FCPS Hispanic students exceeded the state average for Hispanic students by 14 points in Critical Reading, by 20 points in Mathematics, and by 16 points in Writing.
- FCPS White students exceeded the state average for White students by 39 points in Critical Reading, by 48 points in Mathematics, and by 44 points in Writing.
- FCPS average scores decreased 1 point in Critical Reading, increased 4 points in Mathematics, and increased 2 points in Writing when compared to 2011 results.
- The state average score decreased one point from a year ago for Critical Reading, increased 3 points in Mathematics, and remained the same for Writing.
- The national average score for Critical Reading is down 3 points from a year ago, down 1 point in Mathematics, and down 2 points in Writing.
FCPS does an additional analysis of College Board data that includes only students from FCPS’ class of 2012 in its results. (College Board data may include the scores of students from other jurisdictions and students who are home schooled who took the SAT in Fairfax County high schools.
The FCPS analysis uses the test scores of students who were members of the senior class in June 2012 — based on the FCPS student information system — and race-ethnic designations taken from school registration records. The FCPS analysis excludes all non-FCPS students as well as students who were tested while enrolled in FCPS but who moved or may have been retained and were not part of the senior class.)
Data from this FCPS analysis show an average critical reading score of 562, a mathematics score of 579, and a writing score of 555, for an overall composite score of 1696. According to FCPS, 77.1 percent of the FCPS class of 2012 took the SAT; when students attending alternative high schools are included in the calculation the percentage is 73.1 percent.
The ACT tests are designed to assess the general educational development of high school students and the ability of high school students to complete college-level coursework. The tests represent a curriculum-based measure of college readiness in English, mathematics, reading, and science. A writing test is optional.
According to data released by ACT, Inc., the number of FCPS students taking the ACT increased from 3,707 in 2011 to 3,916 in 2012, with average ACT scores increasing in mathematics, science reasoning, and the composite; average ACT scores remained the same in English and reading.
FCPS has also released a set of ACT data separate from that reported by the ACT, Inc. The FCPS-compiled data are based on more accurately analyzed FCPS results. A comparison of ACT scores as reported by FCPS and as reported by ACT, Inc. is also included. According to FCPS, approximately 28.2 percent of the FCPS class of 2012 took the ACT.
Through collaboration with postsecondary institutions, ACT has established college readiness benchmark scores for designated college courses. (English Composition: 18 on ACT English test; Algebra: 22 on Mathematics test; Social Science: 21 on ACT Reading tests; and Biology: 24 on ACT Science test).
Highlights of FCPS ACT results on these college readiness benchmarks include the following:
- Eighty-six percent of FCPS students who took ACT tests are ready for college-level coursework in English composition. That can be compared to 76 percent of students in Virginia and 67 percent of students nationwide.
- Seventy-five percent of FCPS students who took ACT tests are ready for college-level coursework in mathematics. That can be compared to 56 percent in Virginia and 46 percent nationwide.
- Seventy-five percent of FCPS students who took ACT tests are ready for college-level coursework in social science (based on reading scores). That can be compared to 63 percent in Virginia and 52 percent nationwide.
- Fifty-three percent of FCPS students who took ACT tests are ready for college-level coursework in science. That can be compared to 38 percent in Virginia and 31 percent nationwide.
- Forty-nine percent of FCPS students who took ACT tests met all four ACT benchmark scores. That can be compared to 33 percent in Virginia and 25 percent nationwide.