SDS surpasses state, national results on AP, SAT and ACT tests
SDS surpasses state, national results on AP, SAT and ACT tests

Spartanburg Day School is proud to report that recently released data detailing 2023 Advanced Placement, SAT and ACT results shows student scores once again surpass state and national averages. 

Impressively, SDS students’ scores increased year over year on all three standardized tests while participation percentages remained high. Paige Phillips, head of Upper School, credited continued success to the hard work of students and the dedication of faculty who take the time to know and understand each unique learner from an early age. Students are encouraged to take risks, stretch themselves and explore their passions.

“These outcomes represent the purposeful work of students and faculty. While we are always happy to see this level of achievement, we understand that standardized test scores are just one measure of success," Phillips said. "By the time students enter the Upper School and take assessments like the SAT, they know the value of hard work and determination. Parents, students, and teachers share a commitment to excellence; through that partnership, students master not only the content of the tests but also demonstrate great resilience, embrace service to others, and are prepared for college and beyond.”

Head of School Dave Skeen said that at SDS, excellence is a mindset.

“As you can see from how our students performed, positive outcomes follow,” Skeen said. “These scores are a manifestation of our mission at work and are a culminating indicator of graduates who are prepared for a life well lived because they have learned to be purposeful, confident, and discerning through their time with us.”

Advanced Placement

In 2023, 79 percent of Spartanburg Day School students who took an AP exam scored a 3 or higher (out of 5), compared to 65 percent for both the state and national averages.

Ninety-eight SDS students completed 259 AP exams in 23 AP classes. Of the 50 students who made up the most recent graduating class, 94 percent took an AP exam, and 79 percent scored a 3 or higher on at least one exam during their high school career. By their senior year, nearly every SDS student has had the opportunity to take an AP course.

In total, 48 SDS students were recognized as AP Scholars in 2023.

  • 18 AP Scholars: Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.
  • 10 AP Scholars with Honor: Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
  • 20 AP Scholars with Distinction: Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

SDS achieved all criteria to be listed on this year’s AP School Honor Roll as a Platinum School. Platinum schools enable at least 80 percent of the graduating class to take one AP course before graduating, creating an environment where at least half of the class earns college credit by earning a 3 or higher one an AP exam, and create opportunities for 15 percent of the class to take at least five AP courses during their high school years – with at least one taken in ninth or 10th grade.


SDS’s most recent graduates performed commendably on the SAT exam, rising well above both state and national averages in 2023. Ninety-six percent of the senior class took the SAT in 2023.

Seniors earned a total average score of 1269 (out of 1600) on the college entrance exam. The class averaged 653 on the Evidence-based Reading and Writing (ERW) section and 616 in math. 

South Carolina’s overall mean score was 1020, eight points below the national mean of 1028. The state’s average ERW score was 523(compared to 520 nationally), and the average math score was 498 (compared to 508 nationally).


SDS students tested well on the ACT, according to 2023 results, outperforming both state and national results.

The Class of 2023’s average score on the standardized test was 28.8 (out of 36). Forty-four percent of the SDS graduating class took the ACT. South Carolina’s average was 18.8, and the national average was 19.5.



SDS surpasses state, national results on AP, SAT and ACT tests