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2000 Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Results for Montgomery County Public Schools


Whose SAT scores are in this report?
The results reported for the SAT are for students who were in the MCPS Class of 2000 the last time they took the test. This includes:

Students are credited to the school they were enrolled in the last time they took the test. Students who graduated from MCPS after transferring from another school system are not credited to MCPS if they didn't take the test here.

How is the racial/ethnic group data gathered?
MCPS results by racial/ethnic group are based on data from the MCPS student database rather than data from the College Board. The MCPS data provide the most complete picture of performance and participation by racial/ethnic groups. This is not possible using the College Board data because these data are based on self-reporting by students. In the MCPS Class of 2000, 1,359 (22%) SAT takers either did not report a racial/ethnic group (1,079) or reported it as "Other" (280) to the College Board and, thus, were excluded from the College Board report of racial/ethnic results.

Whose PSAT scores are in this report?
The data reported for the PSAT are for juniors (Class of 2001).

Why is the number and/or percent of students tested reported?
When comparing SAT or PSAT average scores it is important to look at the percent tested because it is generally inversely related to group average scores. That is, as the percent tested of a group increases, the average score for the group declines. This is because these tests are usually taken by higher achieving students in a group.

What do the PSAT and SAT II scores mean?
The PSAT is a preliminary test taken by juniors across the country. PSAT scores can help a student in planning for the 12th grade and for college. National Merit Scholarships are awarded to students with the highest scores on this test. The 11 SAT II tests are subject specific. Students choose to take these tests in areas of particular strength and/or as an application requirement for a college. Scores on these tests represent a student's achievement level in that subject area.

What factors can influence a student's SAT score?
Research has shown that the strongest predictors of a student's success on the SATs are rigor of courses that the student is taking in school and the amount of reading that a student does. Familiarity with the test format is also important, particularly since the format has changed recently to emphasize more critical thinking skills. The verbal section of the test has moved away from literature selections to Social Studies and Science content.

How can schools best use this report?
School guidance counselors and teachers can use this report as a measure of how their students are achieving as compared to other schools in MCPS, the state of Maryland, and the nation. This information can, in turn, be used to design preparation programs for students and influence classroom activities in all disciplines.

How do I interpret the statistical significance of group differences in SAT total mean scores?
Statistical significance testing is done to help judge whether or not the difference in average scores for two groups was the result of random fluctuation. If results are reported as significant, the probability of random differences is small. In this report differences will be reported as significant if this probability is less than 5%.

It should be noted that 'significant' does not always mean important. Small differences can be statistically significant for large groups. This can be seen in the table on the next page. This table identifies the smallest difference between group mean scores that would be statistically significant for groups of various sizes. To use the table, locate the cell that intersects the row representing GROUP 1 size and the column representing GROUP 2 size. The number in the cell shows the minimum difference between those groups in SAT total mean scores that would be statistically significant. For example, if School X has 50 students (GROUP 1) in 1997 and 50 students (GROUP 2) in 1999, any difference of 80 points or more on the SAT total score would be statistically significant. If GROUP 1 has 50 students and GROUP 2 has 150 students, then a difference of 65 points or more would be statistically significant. For very large groups such as 5000 the significant difference is only 8 points. It is debatable whether this is an important difference.

Complete Report: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 2000 SAT Report: HOME

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Last Updated on September 13, 2000