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TEA News Releases Online Sept. 3, 2015
SAT, AP exam participation rates in Texas continue to climb

AUSTIN – Continuing a successful trend seen throughout this decade, the 2014-2015 SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) exam participation rates for Texas public school students increased again over the previous school year, according to the latest numbers released today by the College Board.

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The 179,131 Texas public school students who took the SAT in 2014-2015 reflects an increase of 9.2 percent from 2013-2014. For the third consecutive year, more Hispanic students (73,635) than white students (59,921) took the SAT in Texas public schools.

In addition, the 255,250 Texas public school students who took AP exams in 2014-2015 represents an increase of 13.3 percent from 2013-2014. That percentage increase is more than double the national growth of six percent.

“The demographics of students electing to take SAT and AP exams mirrors the demographics we now see in Texas classrooms, and that is good,” said Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. “The economic future of our state rests on students with aspirations beyond high school to strengthen and build the Texas of tomorrow.”

In 2014-2015, Texas students took 479,476 AP exams, an increase of 16.9 percent over the previous school year. That figure is also more than double the 7.2 percent increase nationally. Performance (students with scores of 3 or higher out of a possible score of 0-5) increased for all groups, with African-American students increasing by 12.4 percent and Hispanic students increasing by 10.3 percent.

While student participation numbers continue to increase, overall Texas SAT mean scores for public school students showed a decline in 2014-2015, somewhat mirroring declines in scores seen nationally. Texas public school students in 2014-2015 posted scores of 482 in Mathematics (compared to 498 nationally), 464 in Critical Reading (compared to 489 nationally) and 448 in Writing (compared to 475 nationally). The drop has come as districts across the state continue to encourage more students to take college entrance exams.

Additional Texas items of note from the 2014-2015 College Board report include:

  • SAT takers represent 62.3 percent of the state’s public high school Class of 2015 graduates.
  • 25,570 of the public school students taking the SAT were African-American, which represents an all-time high for the state.
  • More than half (53.7 percent) of the public school students who took the SAT were female (96,239).
  • 53,400 (or 29.8 percent) public school SAT takers in the Class of 2015 met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark.
  • Students whose parents hold a college degree are far more likely to meet the College and Career Readiness Benchmark than are those whose parents don’t have a college degree. (51 percent to 18 percent).
  •  The most popular AP exams were English Language, U.S. History, World History, English Literature, and Physics 1.
  •  212,940 AP exams in Texas earned a score of 3 or higher, an increase of 9.5 percent over 2013-2014 and higher than the increase of 4.9 nationally.
  • Public school students from the Texas Class of 2015 who took the SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests designated their score reports to be sent to a total of 2,772 institutions of higher education. The top ten (in descending order) were: Texas A&M University; University of Texas at Austin; Texas State University; Texas Tech University; University of Texas at San Antonio; Baylor University; University of Houston; University of North Texas; Sam Houston State University; and University of Texas at Arlington.

The College Board’s 2015 Report on College & Career Readiness, which offers a broader view of the most recent SAT data, can be found at