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For Immediate Release
August 29, 2006

Illinois students continue to outperform counterparts across nation

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois high school students who took the SAT college-entrance examination and its Advanced Placement tests continue to outperform their counterparts across the nation, according to a statewide report released today by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Illinois’ composite math score of 609 is the nation’s third highest, behind Iowa and North Dakota. The state’s verbal composite score of 591 is also tied for the nation’s third highest with Minnesota, behind Iowa and North Dakota.

“Today’s results show that our teachers and students are not only committed to aligning with the Illinois Learning Standards, but going beyond it,” said State School Superintendent. Randy Dunn.

Illinois’ seniors scored a composite score of 609 – up 3 points from 2005 – on the mathematics portion of the SAT, compared to the national average of 518. The composite verbal score for Illinois was 591, while the national average was 503. Only 12,694 students took the test.

The state also saw a 6 percent increase in African-American public school seniors taking the SAT compared to a 1 percent decrease for the rest of the nation.

The SAT results were released along with the annual AP results, which also showed strong evidence of good learning outcomes for Illinois students.

A record number of Illinois high school students took the 2005 Advanced Placement (AP) test and the state saw marked improvement in their scores, a record 88,801 AP tests were taken by college bound seniors with nearly 70 percent of them scoring at the “3” to “5” levels to received college credit.

Although the SAT is not taken by as many high school students as the ACT, the composite results of the SAT, ACT and AP tests provide parents, teachers, colleges and students with a strong measurement of success in Illinois classrooms.

Earlier this month, Illinois recorded a 20.5 composite score on the ACT test. The ACT is now given to all public high school students as a part of the Prairie State Achievement Examination.

The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills that students need for academic success in college. It assesses how well students analyze and solve problems. The test is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. Each SAT test is scored on an 800-point scale.

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