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SAT scores vary across Baltimore region

While Maryland students as a whole scored just above the national average on the SAT last year, results across the Baltimore region varied widely, data released by the College Board shows.

Howard County students blew past the statewide average as well as the five nearby school districts.

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Public school students in Maryland averaged 528 points out of 800 on the English Language Arts portion of the college readiness exam and 518 points on the math section. Both scores were one point higher than the national average.

In Howard County, which has the lowest poverty rate in the Baltimore region, students averaged 581 points on the English section and 580 in math. Baltimore's scores were the lowest among the counties that responded: 450 in English and 435 in math.

Scores can not be compared to those of previous years because the exam was overhauled in recent years. Students are no longer penalized for wrong answers, and with the essay portion now optional, the maximum score is 1600.

Last year's high school graduates represent the first class in which a majority of students tested under the new format.

The test scores highlight racial disparities throughout the state. Asian-American students averaged the highest scores in Maryland, followed by white students, Hispanic students and black students.

In Anne Arundel County, white students averaged more than 180 points higher than their black peers.

Anne Arundel Superintendent George Arlotto said the results were "good news in terms of where we stand compared to other jurisdictions in Maryland and around the country, but they also reveal areas in which we have a lot of work left to do."

"We, like other districts, must continue to find ways to close gaps that exist between our student groups," he said.

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Maryland students outpace the national average by a wider margin on the ACT test, an alternative college readiness exam, though the SAT remains more popular in this state. Racial disparities are similarly apparent on the ACT.

Maryland average — ELA: 528 Math: 518

Howard — ELA: 581 Math: 580

Carroll — ELA: 569 Math: 567

Harford — ELA: 556 Math: 564

Anne Arundel — ELA: 541 Math: 530

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Baltimore County — ELA: 506 Math: 491

Baltimore City: ELA: 450 Math: 435

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