The State Department of Education surprised Aiken County School District administrators Monday – sending out summary test results on the SC-PASS standardized tests and the High School Assessment Program, also known as the exit exam.


The State Department also posted on its website the overall state results and each district’s results on both tests, as well.


Aiken District officials did not have the opportunity to fully review the PASS summary test results for grades three through eight. They indicated they would do so later this week.


PASS exams for science and social studies will return in spring 2015. However, new exams for English and math will be developed to use in the spring.


“We know it will be something different, and we’re just waiting to hear about that,” said Janice Kitchings, an Aiken District academic officer for elementary schools.


The Aiken District did release some exit exam results Monday.


The S.C. General Assembly eliminated the exit exam as of July 1. The exit exam was a graduation requirement until this month.


A total of 91.4 percent passed the English exam on the first try, and 81.5 percent met the math standard – both higher than the state average.


A total of 79.1 percent of students passed both exams.


Those who didn’t pass either or both tests this spring, but had the credits needed to graduate, can now petition the Aiken School District to received a diploma from the State Department.


This opportunity applies to former Aiken students dating back to 1990. Thus far, 76 people have done so, and others have until Dec. 31, 2015.


The State Department is not following its traditional schedule in its release of standardized test scores.


Officials usually send the results to the districts well ahead of media outlets.


A State Department spokesman said by email that the agency will send out a press release on the latest PASS and exit exam scores on Wednesday.


• To go to the PASS website for scores directly, use https://www.ed.sc.gov/data/pass/2014


• To visit the exit exam website with scores, go to https://www.ed.sc.gov/data/hsap


Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.