Education

Test scores are in. Here’s how Horry County did compared to the state, national average

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Horry County Schools students tested at or above state averages in the SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement exams.

The district saw a year-over-year increase in AP exam scores, a slight decrease in average SAT scores and a decline in average ACT scores that was consistent with a decline statewide.

About 66 percent of HCS students who took AP exams during the 2017-18 school year received a score of 3, 4 or 5, up from 61 percent of students the previous year, according to data from the College Board. AP exams are scored on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the highest, and any score of 3 or above is considering passing.

The state average was 58 percent and the national average was 57 percent.

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Seven district schools, led by the Academy for Arts, Science and Technology at 81 percent, had passing percentages above the national average, the data shows.

Socastee High School made the biggest jump locally, improving from 51 percent of students passing in 2016-17 to 67 percent in 2017-18.

While the results were positive countywide, Green Sea Floyds and Loris high schools both scored well below the national average with just 21 percent of participating students scoring a 3 or above on AP exams.

A total of 2,148 HCS students took at least one AP exam in 2017-18, up from 2,075 the previous year, according to the College Board.

The 1,045 HCS seniors who took the SAT during the 2017-18 school year scored an average composite of 1095, down slightly from 1101 in 2016-17.

SC teachers are leaving the SC public school system at a rapid pace, deterred by factors from low pay to discipline issues in the classroom.

Despite the decrease, the score is 46 points above the national average of 1049 and 31 points above the state average of 1064, according to College Board data.

Nine district schools, led again by the Academy for Arts, Science and Technology with an average composite of 1171, finished ahead of the national average.

North Myrtle Beach and Green Sea Floyds high schools both saw sizable improvements, jumping from a 1094 and 1037 averages in 2016-17 to 1148 and 1080 in 2017-18, respectively.

Loris High School saw the biggest decrease, dropping from a 1095 average to 1000, which represented the lowest score in the district.

On the ACT, HCS students dropped from a 19.0 composite average in 2016-17 to 18.3 last year, College Board data shows.

That 18.3 figure was on par with the statewide average, which dropped from 18.7 the previous year. South Carolina was near the bottom of the national ACT rankings for the 2017-18 school year, ahead of only Nevada.

Almost every HCS school saw a year-over-year decrease in average ACT score, with the largest decrease at Loris High School, falling from 17.3 to 15.5, the lowest score in the district.

Only Conway High School didn’t see a decrease, holding steady with a 17.4 composite average each year.

The Academy for Arts, Science and Technology had the highest average in the district at 23.8, down slightly from 24.1 the previous year.

A total of 2.692 graduating seniors took the ACT, and district spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier noted that every South Carolina student in the class of 2018 was tested on the ACT as juniors. Next year’s report will be first containing data where students were allowed to decide between taking the ACT or SAT.

David Weissman: @WeissmanMBO; 843-626-0305
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