Oregon students continue to outperform nation on SAT scores

By Observer staff September 26, 2013 05:47 am

SALEM — Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton announced Thursday the participation and performance of Oregon’s 2013 public school graduates on the SAT college entrance exam.

Participation on the SAT was down slightly with 15,718, or 45 percent, of last year’s seniors taking the exam as compared with 15,858 in the class of 2012.  Performance on the exam dipped in reading and math but held steady in writing.  Nationwide, 43 percent of seniors took the SAT and Oregon continues to perform above the national average in all three subject areas. Of the 27 states with more than 30 percent of students taking the exam, Oregon ranked second in mean critical reading score and sixth in both mean math and writing scores.

“I am pleased to see that Oregon students continue to score well above the national average on the SAT,” Saxton said. “Our results continue to be strong and that is something to be proud of.  However, I am disappointed to see the declines in performance this year. By 2025, we want to see 80 percent of our students going on to higher education or workforce training programs. SAT results are one gauge of how prepared our students are for college-level work.  In the coming years, I would like to see more of our students taking, and doing well on, these types of exams as we work to meet our state’s 40-40-20 goal.”

As was the case with Oregon’s recently released ACT results, Oregon students who took a strong core curriculum — four or more years of English and three or more years of math, science and social science — performed significantly better on the SAT. Another factor that impacted performance on the SAT was exposure to advanced placement, honors or other accelerated courses. While there was a slight decline in the number of students taking the SAT, there was an increase in the number of students taking AP courses this last year as well as an increase in the number of graduates receiving a three or higher on an AP test, the score generally associated with receiving college credit. 

Results at a glance

Critical reading

• Oregon public school grads received a mean critical reading score of 516, down two points from last year. The national average was 491.


• Oregon public school grads received a mean math score of 517, down four points from last year. The national average was 503.



• Oregon public school grads received a mean writing score of 494, the same as the last several years. The national average was 480.