SAT Reading Scores Fall to Lowest Level on Record

Justin Pope, Google News, September 14, 2011

SAT reading scores for the high school class of 2011 were the lowest on record, and combined reading and math scores fell to their lowest point since 1995.

The College Board, which released the scores Wednesday, said the results reflect the record size and diversity of the pool of test-takers. As more students aim for college and take the exam, it tends to drag down average scores.

{snip} And in the context of the 800-point test, the three-point decline in reading scores to 497 may seem little more than a blip.

Still, it’s just the second time in the last two decades reading scores have fallen as much in a single year. And reading scores are now notably lower than as recently as 2005, when the average was 508.

Average math scores for the class of 2011 fell one point to 514 and scores on the critical reading section fell two points to 489.

College Board officials pointed to a range of indicators that the test-taking pool has expanded, particularly among Hispanics, which is a good sign that more students are aspiring to college. For instance, roughly 27 percent of the 1.65 million test-takers last year came from a home where English was not the only language, up from 19 percent just a decade ago.

But the increasingly diverse group of test-takers is clearly having more trouble with reading and writing than with math. {snip}

{snip}

Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the group Fair Test, a longtime critic of the SAT, found unpersuasive the College Board’s explanation that the declines were due largely to a broadening test pool. In 2003, he said, the number of SAT-takers expanded by a greater percentage than last year, but scores that year rose 6 points on math and reading.

“Yes, changing test-taker demographics matter,” he said. “No, they don’t explain a 18-point drop (in combined scores) over five years.”

{snip}

A decline in average scores isn’t necessarily good news for top students who were applying to competitive colleges. The number of high scores is also increasing. For instance, the number of students with math scores of at least 700 is up 22 percent since 2007.

{snip}

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  • are you worthy of white privilege?

    Why worry about the decline? Who need the SAT anyway? The lower your score, and the more anti-white you are, you can get in college by just withholding your dismal scores, thus signaling the admission office that you are an “opportunity applicant,” i.e. you will help “increase our diversity and inclusion array, which more important than anything else, because as far as we’ve come, we still have a long way to go- we must do more!”

    http://goo.gl/KQLVb

    Sewanee drops use of ACT, SAT results

    Students applying to attend Sewanee: The University of the South no longer will have to take college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT before applying to attend the liberal arts school.

    Mr. Lesesne said school officials “believe that making the SAT and ACT optional will create greater access to students from an array of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.”

  • Sincerely Concerned

    How nice that more people are aspiring to college (perhaps) but how sad that they are the worst-ever students, if using SAT scores is a gauge. Perhaps the hispanics can take all their courses in Spanish. The way we are headed, we will all be required to know Spanish in about 20 years. I mean, 27 per cent of the test-takers were from a family where English is not the only language? Sure, this could also be indicative of asian or african or other languages, but you can bet it’s mostly Spanish. I wonder how many illegal Mexican immigrants will be going to college in the U.S. next year? That would make a good story.

  • sbuffalonative

    “Yes, changing test-taker demographics matter,” he said. “No, they don’t explain a 18-point drop (in combined scores) over five years.”

    Isn’t it odd that they changed the SATs a while back to include subjective writing assignments to boost scores. Funny how these fixes never fix anything.

    I’m sure someone will come up with a theory to explain why there was a large drop in scores while there was a large rise in diversity of the test-taker demographics that doesn’t involve racial differences.

  • WASP

    Yet teacher compensation and pensions have never been higher!

  • Question Diversity

    Oh no, sounds like it’s time for another “recentering.” Eventually, they’ll recenter the scoring scheme so much that everyone who answers at least one question right on a section will get a perfect score for that section, and they’ll also get a perfect essay score for writing at least three legible words in either English, Spanish or Ebonics.

    Notice the article said “lowest point since 1995.” The first SAT recentering took place in the summer of 1994.

  • Juggernaut

    The College Board, which released the scores Wednesday, said the results reflect the record size and diversity of the pool of test-takers.

    The results are a reflection of increasing White race replacement.

    As more students aim for college and take the exam, it tends to drag down average scores.

    As more nonwhite students with double-digit IQ’s take the test, the average score will drag down.

    Bob Schaeffer: ‘Yes, changing test-taker demographics matter,’ he said. ‘No, they don’t explain a 18-point drop (in combined scores) over five years.’

    You got the first part correct Bob, then quickly contradicted yourself. Demographics matter. Here, I’ll make it easy for you, Bob: Whites/Asians = High Scores. Blacks/Hispanics = Dismal Scores.

    Any questions? Didn’t think so.

  • Istvan

    3rd world population, 3rd world test results. Simple now, isn’t it?

  • Anonymous

    The more diverse (and considering birthrates and immigration, it’s likely said diversity is Hispanic and black) America gets, the more the average scores will become lower, I think.

  • Jim

    I thought there was strength in diversity.We continue to lower the bar to cover the entitlement masses.

  • Anonymous

    Well now our dear Liberals, how’s all that “vibrant” and “enriching” diversity working out? Just about like those of us evil, horrible racisssst posters at AmRen figured it would…

  • rockman

    the decline of the US is well along it way

  • John Engelman

    Charles Murray has said that too many Americans go to college, and that most Americans learn as much as they are capable of knowing. When you pour a quart of water into a cup, you waste three cups of water.

  • lanceman

    Notice how the number of high scores has increased. That would indicate that the test has indeed been “dumbed down.” Yet that was STILL not enough to help the results of an onslaught of “diversity.”

  • True Blue

    Notice that the top end scores actually increased, while the average went down by 18 points; which means that the bottom end of the bell curve (and we all know who that represents) went down dramatically enough to outweigh the gains made at the top.

    Pathetic.

  • J-Man

    To poster # 7 Istavan:

    Totally ridiculous! If that were the case “3rd world” Asians ( Chinese & Indians) would’nt be outscoring whites in these very SAT scores.

    http://www.asianweek.com/2010/10/06/asian-americans-are-1-on-the-2010-sat/

    And this one should shock you – but it’s true.

    Black Girls outscore white British boys in Academics ( high school) scores

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/3517171.stm

  • Lloyd Sauvante

    The drop in scores is significant only in the short term. Longer term, the story is even worse.

    The Educational Testing Service (ETS) recenters the test every few years with the objective that the average score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is 500. In practice this means that the test is easier than it was ten or twenty years ago.

    The fact that 22% more kids get over 700 is misleading. They are taking an easier test, and also studying harder than ever with Kaplan, etc. The fact that despite the fact that the test is easier, kids do increasingly poorly, is a sign that kids are increasingly unprepared, but that educators attempt to force them all into college in any case.

    There are better measures of performance over time. Recommend analysis of the federally-administered National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the international PISA assessment.

  • Martha Cable

    At an ag college in Cobleskill, New York, they accept inner city students. The government pays for their education, transportation back and forth from the city and even PAYS the kids to go to class. MOst, if not all, don’t go to class and drop out due to low test scores after the first semester. On top of this, they bring crime to the campus.

    They take openings from other would-be students who would more than likely complete a college degree. The gov. won’t help the poor white farm kid from New York State, who can’t afford college but comes from that background, but WILL help some low-life waste their time and our money taking a freshman “slot”.

    And so long as I am on the subject of ag colleges,. I met a student from Tufts Vet college. He didn’t have any animal or livestock experience in his life, was afraid of the horses and other domestic livestock and had little common sense on how to handle them, so why was he chosen instead of the opposite type of candidate? Makes NO SENSE.

  • Schadenfreude

    Totally ridiculous! If that were the case “3rd world” Asians ( Chinese & Indians) would’nt be outscoring whites in these very SAT scores.

    You are correct. And, you also present a good argument as to why we should NOT be importing Asians to race-replace whites. What reason is there to import a people group that outscores our own children on SAT tests? Why can’t Asians create countries that Asians don’t want to escape from?

    We whites have done well for ourselves without Asians, we do not need their help. After all we put men in space, invented computers and other technology without Asians.

    How about it Asians? How about staying in your homelands, what your people created, and stay out of ours? You do understand that whites created the US, correct, and not the primitive Native American population? So please don’t throw the tired old, lame “go back to Europe” shibboleth at me. It won’t work. Native Americans created exactly nothing and no one comes here because of what the Native American population created. Asians, including Sureesh – type E. Indians, demand to be let in because of what whites and only whites created, without help from Asians.

  • J-Man

    In response to poster # 18 — Schadenfreude:

    “How about it Asians? How about staying in your homelands, what your people created, and stay out of ours? You do understand that whites created the US, correct, and not the primitive Native American population?”

    Wrong to say simply whites alone created USA would be tantamount to exposing ignorance of history and logical facts. True white gentiles get a disproportionate share of the credit…but let us not forget that the US economy was also created by cotton and agriculture largely built on the backs of black ( African) slaves who were ill treated and humiliated beyond belief by white European Christians rivalling the cruelty & depravity of Arab Muslims. Chinese for the fancy pacific roadways including the Golden Gate bridge at SF. And talking about Indian Americans ( who form a vital core of the Asian American community)…even though they are barely 0.47% of the population, they generate over 150 billion US $ to the economy..they make the bulk of Businessmen, Medical Physicians/Therapists, Scientists, Academicians, researchers and even small business owners. If not for Indian Americans Wi-Max-MIMO (used by laptops), Google Chrome,USB Pentium Chip in which all computers in the world run today, Fibre Optics, Carbon diOxide Laser used in surgery & industry,HDTV and MPEG4 and other marvels would never have come to pass.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indian_Americans

    And as a Jewish American myself, let us not forget the gargantuan contributions of Jewish Americans to American Science, Medicine, Humanities, entertainment etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_American_scientists#Academics

    Thus America was nuilt NOT just by white gentiles BUT ALSO by ethnics who would not come under your traditional racial sphere.