NEWS RELEASES 2014-15 :: OCTOBER 7, 2014


North Carolina’s 2014 seniors posted an average SAT college admission score of 1483, up four points overall from the Class of 2013’s average score, according to the 2014 SAT results released today by The College Board. The national average is 1497 on the Critical Reading, Math and Writing tests that comprise the SAT.

North Carolina’s critical reading score (499) surpassed the nation’s reading score (497). The math score in North Carolina was 507 while the nation’s math average was 513. On the writing test, North Carolina’s average was 477 versus the national average of 487.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said she was pleased that the state’s overall SAT score improved. “SAT scores are very important to students and their families as they navigate the college admissions process. I congratulate the Class of 2014 and hope to see that trend continue.”

The number of seniors taking the SAT in 2014 (57,997) dropped slightly from 2013. A total of 64 percent of seniors took the exam statewide. North Carolina has been considered an SAT state for many years with a majority of college-bound students electing to take this admissions test. However, in 2012, all high school juniors took the ACT for the first time as part of the state’s new READY accountability model. This means that students can use their ACT results for college admission and not have to pay to take a college entrance exam.

In addition to SAT college admissions test results, The College Board also released summary results for the state’s Advanced Placement (AP) program. North Carolina showed strong improvements in this area, both for all schools (public and private) and for public schools only. The number of students choosing to take AP courses and exams rose by 13 percent for public schools and by 11.9 percent for students from all North Carolina schools. The percentage of students earning scores of 3, 4 or 5 rose by 5.3 percent. This was true for all schools as well as public schools only. Generally, colleges and universities are most likely to grant college credit to students who score a 3 or higher on the AP exam.

A total of 63,924 North Carolina students took 119,264 AP exams in 2014.

North Carolina’s public school participation and performance on AP exams was higher than the national average. Nationally, 21.9 percent of students in 11th and 12th grade took at least one AP exam in May 2014. North Carolina’s figure was 23.4 percent, ranking the state 16th (tied with Texas) among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nationally, 13.2 percent of public high school students scored 3 or higher, slightly less than the 13.7 percent figure for North Carolina public high school students. North Carolina ranks 14th in the nation on the percentage of public high school students scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams.

Broadening access to college-level courses for qualified students is a priority of North Carolina public school educators and state lawmakers. This year, lawmakers provided funding to pay for all students’ AP exams in the 2014-15 school year. North Carolina’s participation rate increase in 2014 was strong for all racial groups, ranging from a 8.6 percent increase for white students to a 32.1 percent increase for Hispanic students overall. Black students posted a participation rate increase of 26.8 percent and Asian students’ participated at a rate that is 14.9 percent higher than in 2013. American Indians’ participation rate rose by 14.9 percent as well.

AP credits can be helpful to students in college admission and also can trim college costs for students once they enter colleges and universities.

Overview College Board Overview Summary – All NC Schools
(pdf, 26kb)

College Board Overview Summary – NC Public Schools
(pdf, 26kb)

2014 NC Local SAT Data
(xls, 232kb)


About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.