Merideth Harvey has already taken the SAT's. She says, "The math part was pretty easy for me, but the english part was a lot harder. It was a really long test."
Overall she's been happy with her scores, but plans on taking the test again this fall. "It gets harder at the end," says Merideth, "because the questions get harder and your concentration is just gone by then."
Statewide, the SAT math score increased five points to 506. That’s 10 points behind the national average of 516. Verbal scores on the test are down two points this year to 504. But a great SAT score is not always what gets a student into college.
"SAT's are part of the picture." says Linda Stout. Stout is the Director of Enrollment Operations at Bridgewater College. She says, "They're not the most important thing or the only thing we look at by any means but they are an important part of the picture."
Colleges heavily rely on class ranking and the types of courses students take. At Turner Ashby High School, teachers do what they can to prep their students.
Lee Hall is the head counselor at Turner Ashby High School. He says, "We always do well with SAT's here. We always do better than the Virginia Average and we always do better than the national average. The local schools all do really well."
Virginia ranked first in the south and twelfth in the nation with more than 50,000 seniors taking the test. That is 68-percent of graduation students, far above the national average of 46-percent. The total number has risen by more than 6,000 since 1997.
Linda Stout remarks, "It's always good news if the students are doing better on their scores."
The next date for the SAT's is coming up in October. Students need to register beforehand.