Howard County outperformed almost every school district in Maryland on the 2003-04 SAT, a college entrance exam, and posted its highest scores ever. But among minority groups, one made significant strides and others suffered losses.

The average score in the county was 540 on the verbal portion of the exam and 554 on the math, for a total of 1094 out of a possible 1600, according to the county school system. But Howard's black students fell far short of those numbers, earning a combined score of 921 on average. That was below the state average for all students, 1026, and represents a 13-point drop from 2002-03. In addition, the average score for the county's Asian students fell 24 points in the current results, from 1174 to 1150.

Howard's Hispanic students, with an average of 1057, earned the second-lowest combined score among racial and ethnic groups. Still, that was a 98-point jump over last year. The county did not release individual school data for Hispanics because the group did not meet a threshold of at least 10 students in any school.

Students typically take the SAT during their junior year of high school. In March, the Educational Testing Service, which develops the test, will unveil a revamped SAT that includes a writing section, higher-level math and more reading passages.

Overall

Asian

African

American

White

Atholton

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

206

517

531

1048

15

503

549

1052

39

445

458

903

145

538

549

1088

Centennial

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

267

578

598

1176

64

586

654

1240

*

*

*

*

189

580

585

1165

Glenelg

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

229

541

552

1092

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

215

539

550

1089

Hammond

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

229

529

529

1058

19

526

546

1072

52

462

449

911

154

554

555

1109

Howard

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

185

525

532

1057

25

550

630

1180

29

440

426

866

127

538

537

1075

Long Reach

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

227

512

533

1045

37

496

577

1073

63

457

464

922

122

545

556

1100

Mount Hebron

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

312

545

566

1111

59

515

591

1105

17

488

452

939

231

558

569

1126

Oakland Mills

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

166

535

533

1067

11

501

575

1075

38

444

443

887

112

572

565

1137

River Hill

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

381

554

578

1132

63

562

639

1201

33

508

502

1010

280

558

574

1132

Wilde Lake

Tested

Verbal

Mathematics

Composite

241

539

551

1090

25

521

584

1105

64

458

457

915

148

576

583

1160

*Groups of fewer than 10. Also, some figures do not add up because of rounding.

Results provided by the Howard County school system, based on scores compiled by the Educational Testing Service for the College Board. The county figures exclude non-public school students and adjust for other discrepancies, such as the inclusion of students by ETS who were not members of the Class of 2004.

Reservoir High opened in 2002 and did not have a graduating class in 2004.