View Full Version : SAT Scores Plummet

08-30-2006, 07:36 PM
SAT scores show greatest decline in 31 years

By Karen W. Arenson (http://www.iht.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?query=By Karen W. Arenson&sort=swishrank) The New York Times

The average score on the reading and math portions of the newly expanded SAT showed the largest decline in 31 years, according to a report released by the College Board on the performance of the high school class of 2006.

The drop shown in a report released Tuesday confirmed earlier reports from college officials that they were seeing lower scores from applicants. The average score on the critical reading portion of the SAT, formerly known as the verbal test, fell 5 points, to 503, out of a maximum possible score of 800.

The average math score fell 2 points, to 518. Together they amounted to the lowest combined score since 2002.

Officials of the College Board, the nonprofit organization that administers the SAT, or student achievement tests, dismissed the suggestion by numerous high school guidance counselors that students were getting tired out by the new three-part test which now runs three and three-quarters hours, rather than three.

"Fatigue is not a factor," Wayne Camara, vice president for research and analysis at the College Board, said at a news conference.

"We are not trying to say that students are not tired. But it is not affecting, on the whole, student performance."

Instead, the officials attributed the drop to a decline in the number of students who took the exam more than once. The board said 47 percent of students this year took the test only once, up from 44 percent last year. The number taking the test three times fell to less than 13 percent from nearly 15 percent.

Students typically gain 14 points a section when they take the test a second time, and another 10 or 11 points a section on the third try.