Arkansas 2014 Results
The PSAT/NMSQT is the linchpin among College Board programs, providing a baseline for analyzing student progress and serving as an early indicator of student potential. It is a valuable tool for educators, students, and parents. It opens doors for improved instruction, identifies students who need to get back on track, expands access to challenging course work, and helps to ensure more successful transitions to college.
Arkansas has committed to expanding access to opportunity for students across the state, and the PSAT/NMSQT plays an important role.
In Arkansas in 2013, 19,377 students across the state benefited from taking the PSAT/NMSQT. The number of public school students was 16,469.
- Among Arkansas’s 10th-grade public school students, 31.2% participated in the PSAT/NMSQT last year. This compares to 38.3% of 10th-grade public school students nationally.
- In Arkansas, 5,693 minority students participated in the 2013 administration. This represents 29.4% of Arkansas test-takers. Overall, 1,678,760 minority students took the test. This represents 45.9% of test-takers.
A look at the Arkansas SAT results for the class of 2014 shows an increase in overall SAT participation:
- 1,222 Arkansas students in the class of 2014 took the SAT, compared to 1,172 last year. Among Arkansas public school students in the class of 2014, 924 took the SAT, compared to 895 in the previous class.
- Of those Arkansas students who took the exam, 25.8% (315 students) were minority students, compared to 26.7% (313 students) from the class of 2013.
- Among public school test-takers, 27.6% (255 students) were minority students, compared to 28.2% (252 students) from the class of 2013.
- 9.3% of students took the exam using a fee waiver, comparable with the class of 2013. 11.9% of Arkansas public school students took the test using a fee waiver, compared to 11.4% from the class of 2013.
The SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark
The need to improve college and career readiness remains critical. The College Board developed the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark to help colleges and secondary school administrators, educators, and policymakers identify students who are likely to be ready to take college-entry, credit-bearing courses in college and not need remediation. The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 is associated with a 65% probability of obtaining a first-year college GPA of B- or higher.
- Overall, 42.6% of SAT takers in the class of 2014 met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. This number has remained virtually unchanged over time. Among all U.S. public school test-takers, 39.1% met the benchmark.
- In Arkansas, 71.5% of test-takers (874 students) met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. Among public school students, 71.1% met the benchmark (657 students).
The percentage of SAT takers meeting or exceeding the benchmark tends to decline as SAT participation increases.
The problem is especially acute among underrepresented minority students.
- 44.4% of Arkansas's African American SAT takers met the benchmark.
- 50.7% of Arkansas's Hispanic SAT takers met the benchmark.
- 36.4% of Arkansas's Native American SAT takers met the benchmark.
Studies show that students who meet the benchmark are:
- More likely to enroll in a four-year college. 78% enrolled in a four-year college or university, compared to only 46% of those who did not meet the benchmark.
- More likely to complete their degree. 54% earned a bachelor’s degree within four years, compared to only 27% of those who did not meet the benchmark.
Students who met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark were more likely to have completed a high school core curriculum, which is defined as four or more years of English, three or more years of mathematics, three or more years of natural science, and three or more years of social science and history. However, about one in six Arkansas students in the SAT class of 2014 did not take a core curriculum, compared to the overall average of one in four test-takers.
Participation and Performance
Arkansas has made a great commitment to expanding access to challenging course work for students across the state. As a result, students have made gains in participation and success.
- 32.7% of Arkansas’s public high school 11th- and 12th-graders took at least one AP Exam in 2014, up from 8.4% in 2004.
- 10.8% of Arkansas’s public high school 11th- and 12th-graders scored a 3 or higher on an AP Exam in 2014, up from 3.8% in 2004.
- 18.3% of Arkansas’s public high school 11th- and 12th-grade AP examinees who scored a 3 or higher were from low-income households, compared to 7.1% in 2004.
The Importance of AP for Arkansas Students
New research shows the benefits of AP for all students.Footnote 1 AP students with an average AP Exam score of:
in expected on-time college graduation rate, compared to academically matched peers who don’t take an AP Exam.
The typical student who receives a score of 3 or higher on two AP Exams has the potential to save, on average, more than $1,400 at a public four-year college in Arkansas and $3,900 at a private institution.Footnote asterisk*
Advancing AP STEM Participation
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs over the last 10 years. STEM jobs are expected to grow by 17% during the 2008–2018 period versus 9.8% growth for non-STEM jobs.Footnote 2
Research shows that students who took AP mathematics and science were more likely than non-AP students to earn degrees in physical science, engineering, and life science disciplines.Footnote 3
- 12.4% of Arkansas public high school 11th- and 12th-graders took an AP mathematics or science exam in 2014.
- 8.0% of underrepresented Arkansas public high school 11th- and 12th-graders took an AP mathematics or science exam.
AP PotentialTM: A Look Back, A Look Ahead
PSAT/NMSQT results are the best predictor of a student’s potential to succeed in certain AP courses.Footnote 4 From these results, educators can identify students with a 60% or higher likelihood of succeeding in particular AP subjects. Using such data, schools, districts, and states can support access to AP for all academically prepared students.
Data from the class of 2014 found that 23% of prepared public school students in Arkansas graduated without taking a course in an available AP subject for which they had the potential to succeed or attended a school that did not offer a course in the subject.
Based on last year’s PSAT/NMSQT results for 10th grade test-takers in the public school class of 2016, there are at least:
- 2,763 Arkansas students who have the potential for success in at least one AP course.
- 954 Arkansas students who have the potential for success in at least one STEM subject.
- 308 underrepresented Arkansas students who have the potential for success in at least one AP course.
The AP data in this report are administration level and represent all of the exams taken within a given year by students in 11th and 12th grades, with the exception of data used to calculate AP Potential data for the classes of 2014 and 2016.
Return to footnote * referrer Please note: These estimates are based on Table 5 of the 2013 College Board report, Trends in College Pricing.
Return to footnote 1 referrer. http://bit.ly/1CmglCj: Results are presented for students with average PSAT/NMSQT performance, and ranges are shown since these rates vary by gender, race/ethnicity, and parent education level.