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News

For Immediate Release
August 31, 2004

Illinois college-bound seniors increase scores on SAT
More take AP test – even more eligible

Springfield, Ill.—A record number of Illinois high school students took the 2004 Advanced Placement (AP) tests and the state saw marked improvement in their scores. According to a statewide report released today by the Illinois State Board of Education a record 73,150 AP tests were taken by college-bound seniors with almost two-thirds of them scoring at the “3” to “5” levels to receive college credit.

But, more interesting is the research noted by the College Board which administers the test and reveals the number of students who could be taking AP courses and the tests, and be headed for college.

“Our AP numbers are excellent!” said State Superintendent of Education Robert Schiller. “But according to research, at least 10 times the number of students currently taking AP courses, and achieving credit, could be added if provided guidance and access. So, Illinois and other states could do even better.”

Overall African-American participation in AP tests was slightly down and almost flat (-.5%); Hispanic participation was up 7.1%; Asian participation was up 8.5% and American Indian was down 12.7%

“What we’re seeing is that in the past AP courses were viewed as part of gifted programs or for gifted students,” said Schiller. “Instead, we need to view these programs as offering the type of rigorous courses that both challenge as well as prepare students for college work.”

The AP results were released along with the annual SAT results which once again increased statewide as Illinois students outperformed their counterparts across the nation. The mathematics score for Illinois public and non-public high school graduates was 77 points higher than the national average. At 585, the this year’s score was 2 points higher than last year. In the verbal section Illinois students averaged at 597, or 79 points higher than the national average and one point higher than last year.

“We are pleased that yet another set of tests results confirms that Illinois is, and has been, on the right track,” said Schiller. “The results, state and national, once again confirm that those students who follow a core curriculum of study are better prepared for these exams and for college.

The SAT results once again increased statewide as Illinois students outperformed their counterparts across the nation. The mathematics score for Illinois public and nonpublic high school graduates was 79 points higher than the national average. At 597, the this year’s score was 1 points higher than last year. In the verbal section Illinois students averaged at 585, or 77 points higher than the national average and two points higher than last year.

“We are pleased that yet another set of tests results confirms that Illinois is, and has been, on the right track,” said Schiller. “The results, state and national, once again confirm that those students who follow a core curriculum of study are better prepared for these exams and for college.

According to the report, SAT participation by minorities at public and nonpublic schools was also up. African-American participation was up 4.2%; Hispanic participation went up 11.2%; American Indian up 37.5% and Asian participation was up 2.2%

In other SAT results:

  • scores have steadily increased for Illinois students in math since 2000 when the average was 586
  • Scores in the verbal SAT have increased the past four years, from 576 in 2001.
  • Over the past ten years, math scores have increased 35 points while verbal scores have increased 32 points.
  • The number of students participating in the PSAT (for college-bound sophomores and juniors) is up 8.2%
  • SAT scores for each of the minority subgroups are higher than those for their minority counterparts around the country.

Integrated State Summary 2004 - All Schools PDF File

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777