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By the numbers

Reflecting a national trend, Fairfax County’s critical reading scores were down from previous years. Students taking the SAT averaged the following:
547 in 2008
551 in 2009
552 in 2010
551 in 2011
550 in 2012
The number of county public school students taking the SAT college entrance exam has increased consistently during the past four years, but is down from five years ago, according to the school system:
9,883 in 2011-12
9,784 in 2010-11
9,157 in 2009-10
8,821 in 2008-09
9,670 in 2007-08
9,957 in 2006-07

National SAT scores are making headlines this week as students who sat for the exam in 2012 showed a four-year low in critical reading results.

Reflecting a national trend, Fairfax County’s students’ critical reading scores were down from previous years.

The overall score average for Fairfax County Public School students rose to 1659 from last year’s 1654. A perfect score on the SAT is 2400.

“Although [the critical reading average scores] have gone down very slightly at one point over the last three years, looking at the longer picture, I would say they’ve been relatively consistent especially since the percentage of students taking [SATs] has increased over time,” said Kathy Oliver, director of the school system’s Office of Student Testing.

Among racial subgroups, Asian, Hispanic and black students raised their critical reading averages on the SATs in 2012, compared to the previous year. White students’ scores in critical reading dropped from an average of 579 to 574. All four racial groups posted higher scores in math, and all but white students showed increased scores in writing.

“At the moment, I wouldn’t be concerned about a one-point drop [in critical reading averages], especially when you look over a longer time period,” Oliver said.

The number of county students taking the SAT college entrance exam has increased consistently during the past four years, but is down from five years ago, according to the school system.

In 2012, county public school students again outperformed their peers both in Virginia and nationally.

County students averaged a 550 in critical reading, besting the state average of 508 and the national average of 491. Similarly, the school system’s students outperformed the state and nation in math and writing.

To view SAT and ACT results posted by the school system,which includes demographic information, visit www.FCPS.edu and click on the “news” icon.

hhobbs@fairfaxtimes.com