Loudoun students performed better on the SAT in 2021 than they did in 2020, and bested the Virginia state average score by 31 points, data from the College Board shows.
The average SAT score for the 64% of class of 2021 seniors who took the test was 1182—an increase of 9 points from 2020’s 1173 average. Loudoun seniors, on average, outscored peers throughout the state by 31 points, and globally, by 122 points.
The test format includes two sections—Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math—for a total of 800 possible points each. There is also an optional essay, which doesn’t count toward the total score.
Average Loudoun reading scores increased from 592 to 597, and in math, from 581 to 585.
The total of 4,073 test-takers was 14% below the previous year.
A racial breakdown released by the school division showed that 30% fewer Black students and 31% fewer Hispanic students took the SATs last year. Participation among white students was down 16%.
Meanwhile, the 1,011 Asian test takers represented a 7% increase. That subgroup also posted the highest scores, an average of 1274. The average score for white students was 1169. The average score for Hispanic students was 1088 and 1069 for Black students. While the scores for Asian and Black students increased—up by 13 and 11 points, respectively—white and Hispanic students saw lower average scores compared with 2020—down 4 and 2 points, respectively.
While some states require taking the SAT or the similar American College Testing exam as a requirement for high school graduation, the testing is optional in Virginia. Some college-bound students may not take the SAT at all, opting to take the shorter ACT instead.
The college board reported students in the district designated 757 different post-secondary schools to receive scores. In state, the most common institutions were Virginia Tech (38.3% of students submitting), George Mason (32.7%), University of Virginia (31.5%) James Madison University (25.1%) and Virginia Commonwealth University (23.8%).