DURHAM — Coginchaug Regional High School students have higher SAT scores than state and national averages, but nearly half of students missed performance benchmarks.
Cori DiMaggio, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, presented the most recent sophomore and junior test results to the Board of Education Student Achievement Committee on Wednesday.
“We are always looking at our curriculum and our instructional practices,” DiMaggio said, “and looking at individual student scores, too, to see how can we help support individual students with their performance as well.”
Freshmen, sophomores and juniors take the Preliminary SAT, or PSAT, in the fall. The freshman PSAT is a different test than the sophomore PSAT.
Juniors take the SAT in the spring. Students can retake SAT again for college entrance, which they pay for themselves.
Juniors scored an average total score of 1076 on the SAT taken in March. In October 2017, the same group’s average total score was 1008, and on the PSAT taken as sophomores in October 2016, the total average score was 967.
That’s a gain of 109 points, or an increase over time of more than 11 percent.
However, only 47 percent of juniors met both Mathematics and Reading and Writing benchmarks on the March SAT test; 82 percent met the Reading and Writing benchmark and 47 percent met Mathematics.
The College Board, the nonprofit organization that runs the SAT, set performance benchmarks at 530 in Mathematics and 480 in Reading and Writing.
A perfect SAT score is 1600, with 800 in Mathematics and 800 in Reading and Writing.
CRHS juniors did better on the SAT than state and national averages. The statewide average total score was 1036 and the national average total score was 959.
Forty percent of SAT test takers statewide met both benchmarks, and 26 percent nationwide.
The sophomore class took the PSAT in October 2017. The average total score was 994, up from the average total score 930 when the same students took the freshman PSAT.
The number of students who reached both performance benchmarks stayed the same at 48 percent.
CRHS sophomores scored higher than the statewide average of 921 and national average of 934.
Statewide, 35 percent of PSAT test takers met both benchmarks, and 38 percent met benchmarks nationwide.
Across the board, students performed better in Reading and Writing than Mathematics.
“With the math scores, that is always the more difficult to reach,” DiMaggio said. “There’s a higher benchmark with the math scores.”