FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Illinois students again outperform nation
on SAT, AP exams
Illinois high school students who take the SAT college-entrance
examination continue to far outperform their peers throughout
the nation, State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller
Advanced Placement examination results for 2001-2002 also
showed Illinois students outpacing the nation, Schiller said.
Mathematics scores for Illinois’ 2002 public and nonpublic
high school graduates who took the SAT I averaged 80 points
above the national average in 2002 and verbal scores were
74 points higher. In addition, student gains over the last
five years and the last ten years were higher for Illinois
students than any other state. The greatest improvements for
the 2002 graduating class were recorded by Asians, blacks
and American Indians.
The average SAT I verbal score for all public and nonpublic
graduates tested was 578, up 2 points from 2001 and 16 from
the 1997 average of 562; for mathematics the score increased
7 points to 596 from 589 in 2001 and 18 points from 578 in
About 68 % of students who took the SAT I were from public
schools. Their verbal scores averaged 578, the same as the
Illinois group overall. In mathematics, public school students
averaged 605, exceeding overall state average by 9 points.
"While SAT and AP exams are taken by only a small percentage
of Illinois students, the results clearly show that this group
of students is meeting high achievement targets," Schiller
said. "These students, their parents and their schools
are setting the pace for our state and nation.”
About 11 percent of Illinois' high school students take the
SAT, compared to the ACT that is now given to almost all public
high school students as a part of the Prairie State Achievement
Examination. Each of the SAT I tests is scored on an 800-point
AP results lead nation
On Advanced Placement tests, scores of 4 or 5, the two
highest scores, were achieved by 44 % of Illinois students
compared to 36 % for students throughout the country. The
most popular AP examination subjects for Illinois students
in 2001-2002 were United States History; English Literature
and Composition; and Calculus.
The State Board provides incentives for schools to increase
participation on AP exams. In 2001, the State Board provided
fee support for over 2000 students and in 2002 for over 3500
students. Data released today show strong increases in AP
test participation for the last several years.
Almost 37,000 Illinois students took AP exams in the 2001-2002
school year, compared to under 33,000 in the previous year.
There were 484 Illinois schools with students taking AP examinations
The College Board also administers the Advanced Placement
tests taken by high school students, often for dual credit
with higher education institutions.