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News Release - SAT and AP Tests Prepare Students for College and Career Success

Sept. 24, 2012

SAT and AP tests prepare more students for college and career success and increase access to higher education

Results from the SAT, one of the best predictors of college success, show critical reading scores, mathematics and writing scores all increased from 2011 to 2012 for Colorado public high school seniors.

  • Critical reading scores increased by four points, and increased by 13 points in the last five year. The Critical Reading mean score is 578.

  • Mathematics scores increased by seven points, and increased by 11 points in the past five years. The Mathematics mean score is 587.

  • Writing scores increased by five points, and increased by 10 points in the last five years. The writing mean score is 565.

In 2012, 6,623 Colorado public school seniors took the SAT. The number of Colorado public high school seniors taking the SAT decreased by 12.3 percent from 2011 numbers, compared to 1.2 percent increase for the nation. In the last five years, the number of public high school seniors in Colorado taking the SAT decreased by 17.3 percent, compared to an 8.6 percent increase for the nation. To download the full report, visit

Advanced Placement (AP) exams show more students in Colorado took the exams and were exposed to college-level work. In 2012, the number of students in Colorado that took AP exams increased by 7.2 percent compared to 6.4 percent for the U.S. last year. In the last five years, AP exam participation in Colorado grew by 35.9 percent compared to 34.7 percent for the nation.

The number of Hispanic AP test takers in Colorado public schools increased by 70.1 percent compared to 59.9 for the nation in the last five years.

The AP Program exposes students to rigorous curriculum, teaches essential critical thinking skills and enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Research studies show that students who do well on an AP exam are academically prepared to place out of a corresponding introductory college course and move on to the next higher-level course. The full 2012 AP Report to the nation comes out in February.

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