Angie Newsome/Carolina Public Press

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction released new information Tuesday showing how well North Carolina high school students performed on the SAT college admission test in 2014.

According to The College Board, the state’s seniors averaged 1483 this year, up four points from 2013 graduates. The number of students taking the SAT this year dropped slightly to 57,997, which is 64 percent of all eligible students.

The department reported in a press release that North Carolina’s critical reading score (499) surpassed the nation’s reading score (497).

That’s not the case for math of writing scores however. The math score in North Carolina was 507 while the nation’s math average was 513. On the writing test, North Carolina’s average was 477 versus the national average of 487.

In the 18 westernmost counties of the state, overall results showed that students in Asheville and Watauga County school systems scored the highest among the region’s 20 school systems. The lowest-performing countywide systems for the year were in Swain and Rutherford counties.

Overall, 11 school systems in Western North Carolina exceeded statewide performance in 2014, while nine fell below the NC number.

And when compared to whether students’ scores in 2014 were better or worse compared to 2012, the region is nearly divided. Nine systems saw an increase in students’ scores, while 10 saw a decrease compared to two years ago. Data is not available to compare for Crossnore Academy, which is located in Avery County.

The biggest improvements in scores between 2012 and 2014 were in Mitchell and Madison counties, while scores dropped the most in Avery and Swain counties.

For county-by-county and school-by-school results, see the table below.

Click to view full-size image.
Click to view full-size image.

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Angie Newsome was the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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