Recent research findings released by the College Board, the non-profit group that administers the SAT exam, found that nationally only 43 percent of 2012 college-bound seniors met the “college-ready” standard based on exam scores. This represents a drop to the lowest level in decades as the number of students taking the exam has increased.
James Montoya, a vice president of the College Board was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal article saying, “There are many students who have the potential to succeed in college, but they are not being supported by our education system.”
Bill Borg, Head of School at Vanguard College Preparatory School in Waco, Texas couldn’t agree more.
“Students that have not sufficiently prepared and just go in cold turkey on a Saturday to take the exam will no doubt find it very intimidating and overwhelming,” said Borg. “That is why Vanguard requires all our high school juniors to take an entire, year-long course devoted solely to SAT preparation. This is one of the reasons why 100 percent of Vanguard graduates are accepted to and go on to attend college.”
In Texas, the average SAT test score for “college readiness” is set at 1500. The highest possible score on the 2012 SAT exam is 2400 and a score of 1550 is the benchmark in determining if a student is “college-ready” as set by the College Board nationally. Vanguard students in the class of 2012 scored an average of 1860 or higher on the exam. This represents a 360 point difference for the State college readiness score of 1500.
“At Vanguard we are preparing our students to truly excel in college and not to simply pass an exam. Higher SAT scores are to be expected but are merely a by-product of the rigorous academic standards we have set for ourselves.” Borg said. “Another by-product that should not be overlooked is the fact that Vanguard has produced five National Merit Finalists over the last four years.”
At the Texas public school level, James McSwain, principal of Lamar High School in Houston was also quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “You can take a kid who has never even considered going to college and, once they have this exposure, they might change their mind and say, ‘Hey I can do this,’” he said. “if that makes the average score drop, it is worth it.”
“Simply put, you can prepare for anything. College prep courses are the key to SAT success,” said Borg.