According to data recently released by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Watauga County Schools achieved the third-highest SAT average composite scores in the state of North Carolina.
Watauga posted the highest scores in the Northwest region, which encompasses Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Hickory, McDowell, Mitchell, Newton-Conover, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey.
Watauga was only outranked statewide by Chapel-Hill Carrboro and Carteret schools. WCS scored higher than both the national and state SAT averages.
The SAT is one of two tests used in North Carolina to measure aptitude in critical reading, mathematics and writing. SAT results are used by colleges to consider the applications of incoming freshmen.
Watauga also finished second in the state in average ACT scores, the other commonly used college admissions test. Unlike the SAT, which is optional, the ACT is taken by all Juniors in Watauga County Schools and is administered free of charge.
The SAT is scored in two sections, evidence-based reading and writing (ERW) and math. Each section has a possible score of 800 points. A perfect score on the test is 1600. In Watauga County Schools, students scored an average of 507 in the ERW portion of the test and 505 in math. The average composite score for those tested totalled 1163.
Watauga County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said the test results were both direct evidence of the quality of work that takes place in the school district, and continued motivation to reach for a statewide top spot.
“You’ll hear us say that we want Watauga County Schools to be the best place to learn and work in North Carolina — and we don’t take that lightly,” Elliott said. “I’m so proud to see such a strong performance in our SAT and ACT results. We have a long reputation for high quality in Watauga, and it’s a great credit to both our students and teachers that we are able to consistently perform among the best high schools in the state — because, by any measure — Watauga High School is one of the best in the state.