The College Board reported Tuesday that the high school class of 2007 had the lowest combined math and reading scores since 1999. Reading scores fell from 503 to 502, math scores dropped from 518 to 515 and the writing section saw a drop of 3 points from 497 to 494. All scores are out of a possible 800 points.
Why the drastic drop? The College Board — the firm that runs the SAT claims the test’s new redesign lead to lower scores, plus they say that an increased diversity in the pool of students taking the SAT is another reason scores took a tumble this year. In this vein they cite the following statistics:
- 24% of test-takers stated English as their second language, up from 17% 10 years ago
- 35% of SAT-takers stated they would be the first in their families to attend college
- Fewer students opted to retake the SAT. Taking the SAT a second time generally raises scores by 30 points
- Maine now requires 100% of students to take the SAT. Prior to this mandate, only 73% of Maine’s high school students took the SAT
- More cities are persuading students who aren’t on a typical college tracks to take the SAT
- The number of African-American students who took the SAT increased by 6 %
- An increase of 27% was seen in the number of SAT students categorized as “Other Hispanic, Latino or Latin American” (non-Puerto Rican and non-Mexican)
Overall, the drop in scores can be attributed to the fact that more students are taking SAT, and of these test takers, more are coming from non-SAT prep backgrounds. However, we hope that with this change in demographic tide will come an eventual increase in scores as parents and teachers learn to better prepare all students for this important exam.
The Associated Press