The interim director of the state Department Education says there’s some good news for Iowa students on one of the college entrance exams. Judy Jeffrey says the results are out for the S-A-T college entrance exam, and they’re good results.She says they improved across the board, including the verbal and math scores — which she says are the two they pay the most attention to. Iowa students scored an average verbal score of 593 and average math score of 602, compared to the national average verbal score of 508 and average math score was 518. The highest possible score is 800 in each category. The 18-hundred students who took the test in 2004 did better than Iowans who took the test last year. She says even though it’s only five percent of the Iowa graduates, she says they’re happy to see them do better than the national average. Jeffrey doesn’t have a breakdown on the high schools where students took the tests. She says what they do know is that students who take the test are typically bound for east-coast colleges. She says they typically take the test to get a score for a college out of Iowa. Jeffrey says they’ve also found that more Iowa students have access to Advanced Placement, or A-P classes to prep them for college. She says they’ve seen an increase in the number of schools offering the courses and the number of students taking the courses. She credits some of the increase to the efforts of the Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute at the University of Iowa that offers the classes on-line. Jeffrey says the A-P classes can have a big impact on how a student fares in college. She says they believe the rigor of the courses really prepares students for post-secondary success. Jeffrey says there were also good results from the preliminary S-A-T tests typically taken by high school sophomores and juniors to practice for the S-A-T in their senior years. She says students who took the P-S-A-T scored about the national average in the verbal and math areas.
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