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FCPS Students Outdistance State and Nation On SAT and ACT College Admission Testing Results | News

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FCPS Students Outdistance State and Nation On SAT and ACT College Admission Testing Results
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Results just released by the Educational Testing Service in New Jersey show that Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) seniors continue to score well above state and national averages.  Their mean critical reading, math, writing and combined SAT-1 scores exceed Maryland and U.S. averages, consistent with trends for previous years. 

Results for the class of 2010 increased five points in critical reading, three points in math and two in writing as compared to the senior class of 2009. The combined mean score for Frederick County is 1559; Maryland’s is 1502, and the nation’s is 1509. Frederick’s score rose 10 points, Maryland’s score rose five points, and the national scores remained constant.

The 1,873 SAT-takers represent 60% of seniors, an increase from the 57% participation for the class of 2009. “Test scores often decrease when you have an increase in test participation,” said Deborah Gilmartin, FCPS coordinator of Testing and Accountability.  “So this is very good news to see local participation and scores rise at the same time.”


Results published by the ACT program, administered by ACT Corporation in Iowa, show that 68 more Frederick County students took the exam in 2010. Participation, although lower than that of the SAT, increased from 463 students in 2009 to 531 students in 2010. Scores are reported in five areas: English, math, reading, science and composite. As evident with SAT scores, Frederick County students posted higher mean scores than the state and nation. Frederick County and state students posted gains in all five report areas. The nation’s scores dropped slightly in English, reading and composite.


“We are pleased that our students continue to exceed state and national averages on both the SAT and ACT, and there’s always room for improvement,” said Ann Bonitatibus, FCPS associate superintendent for secondary schools. “Of course, SAT scores are just one indicator of college readiness. We’ve instituted a number of long-term strategies to ensure that our graduates are prepared for all aspects of higher education, including college admissions testing programs like the SAT.”

An optional course to prepare students for the SAT has been available at all Frederick County public high schools since 1997.  This course and others like it are part of the school system’s efforts to continually improve academic performance and ensure all students access to challenging coursework that will prepare them for success beyond graduation.  For the fifth consecutive year, all FCPS 10th-grade students will take the PSAT, a preliminary test that introduces students to the testing format and prepares them for the SAT.  

The SAT is a program of the College Board, developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service of New Jersey to measure critical reading, writing and math skills.  The scores--in conjunction with students’ transcripts and other measures of performance--assist many colleges and universities in selecting students for admission. Because the SAT is an elective test, results do not reflect the performance of all students.  However, the trend in SAT scores is a useful criterion for assessing district and school performance. 

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