Sunday, August 14, 2022

SAT scores for the nation are out


Following the release of ACT scores for 2017 about three weeks ago, some state-level scores on the SAT were released today by the College Board.

Press release

The first year of performance results on the new SAT, released today, sets the baseline for SAT performance going forward. The SAT Suite of Assessments—including the new SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9—was first administered during the 2015-16 school year. The suite measures what students are learning in class that is important for them to know to be ready for college-level courses.

“Many more students from all backgrounds are taking advantage of the opportunities these assessments provide,” says David Coleman, president and CEO of the College Board. “With free, personalized practice and the ability to track their own progress throughout high school, these tests empower students to own their future and prepare for success in college and careers.”

SAT Results

In the class of 2017, 46 percent of students who took the new SAT met or exceeded the new college and career readiness benchmarks, showing they are likely ready to take and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses. The mean total score for students in the class of 2017 who took the new SAT was 1060. The mean score for the evidence-based reading and writing section was 533 and the mean score for the math section was 527.

The new SAT was first administered in March 2016. The class of 2017 was the first graduating class in which the majority of test takers—93% of the cohort—took the new SAT. While these performance results cannot be compared to previous years’, they serve as the baseline for the new SAT for future year-to-year comparisons.

Racial disparities persist

Asian-American students scored higher than any other ethnic subgroup on the SAT, followed by white students, Hispanic students, and then black students.

Ethnic/racial subgroup Mean 2-part score nationally
Asian-Americans 1181
Whites 1118
Latinos 990
Pacific Islanders 986
African-Americans 941

State-by-state results

The Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland students obtained scores that were 1 point higher in both math and evidence-based reading and writing than the national averages. Looking only at graduates in the class of 2017 who took the test, the results are even closer.

The mean two-part score for SAT-test-takers in Maryland’s class of 2017 was 1060, which exactly equals the national average. That score comes from a mean in math of 524 and in evidence-based reading and writing of 536, which are both hovering within a few points of the national averages reported above.

The mean scores for Illinois graduates in the class of 2017 were slightly higher, with a mean two-part score of 1115556 in math, 559 in evidence-based reading and writing.

It’s worth noting that comparisons between states, or even comparisons of state total averages to the national mean, are invalid. We also are obligated to point out that many more students took the SAT in Maryland, on a percentage basis, than in Illinois.

The number of students taking advantage of the suite continues to rise

  • More than 7.3 million test takers completed the SAT or a PSAT-related assessment in the 2016-17 school year, an increase of nearly 10 percent since last year.
  • The class of 2017 is the largest cohort in SAT history. More than 1.8 million students took the old or new SAT at least once during high school; 1.7 million (93%) have taken the new SAT.
  • Nearly 4.3 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 in the 2016-17 school year, an increase of more than 46,000 students compared to 2015-16.
  • A record 1.3 million students took the PSAT 8/9 in 2016-17, an increase of more than 417,000 students (47%) compared to 2015-16.

Expanding Access to SAT School Day for All Schools

SAT School Day allows juniors and seniors to take the SAT in their own school, during the school day. This program gives more students the chance to show colleges they’re ready. When students have the opportunity to take the SAT at their own school, they’re more likely to take the test and go on to college.

For the first time ever, beginning in December 2017, SAT School Day will be available to all schools, regardless of their size.

“Now, even students from the most isolated rural communities to the suburbs, and students from small schools, independent schools, and religious schools can access the benefits of the SAT on a school day, which could propel them into college. One day—a school day—can make a world of difference for a student,” says Jane Dapkus, a vice president at the College Board.

The number of students who took the SAT during the school day has increased significantly since 2014. More than 800,000 students participated in SAT School Day during the 2016-17 school year, up from more than 458,000 in 2015-16 and nearly 219,500 in 2014-15. Nine states, the District of Columbia, and more than 250 school districts now offer SAT School Day, including some of the nation’s largest, such as Chicago Public Schools.

“The SAT Suite and Official SAT Practice gave Chicago educators the tools to improve day-to-day instruction and successfully increase student performance, which translates into real changes in students’ outcomes,” says Peter Leonard, director of student assessment at Chicago Public Schools.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent Posts

In Kennedy v Bremerton, Lemon finally falls

A Supreme Court decision Monday eroded, to a certain extent, the proverbial wall between church and state.

Chicago Public Schools closed Wednesday

Top 11 school headlines of 2021

A Christmas parody from Nanook the Huskie

Holiday baking suggestions from IL students

Guns brought to 2 Md. high schools