In Transitional Year, SAT Scores Drop on Old Test

September 27, 2016

The College Board today announces average scores on the SAT for last year's high school graduating class -- and such announcements are typically a time of debate over the state of education, the value of standardized testing, educational inequities and more. This year's results are somewhat difficult to analyze, because some students took the old version of the SAT and others the new. The College Board reported declines in the average scores from the class, but those averages are for those who took the old SAT. The ACT also reported declines this year, noting that more students are taking the test. Both the College Board and the ACT are pursuing more contracts with states to require high school seniors to take one test or the other, and that means more test takers may not in fact be prepared for or preparing for college.

In comparing the old SAT's scores for the class of 2016, compared to 2015:

  • The average for critical reading was 494, down from 497.
  • The average for math was 508, down from 512.
  • The average for writing was 482, down from 487.

Full results are available here, but readers are cautioned by the many caveats about comparisons because of the transitional year.

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