Posted on March 6, 2014

These Four Charts Show How the SAT Favors Rich, Educated Families

Zachary Goldfarb, Washington Post, March 5, 2014

The College Board announced Wednesday that it is overhauling the SAT, dropping the timed essay and focusing less on fancy vocabulary in order to level the playing field a bit for high school students from a wider range of families. The organization’s own data show that wealthier Americans, from more educated families, tend to do far better on the test. As do white and Asian Americans, and those students who had the opportunity to take the PSAT in high school before taking the SAT. {snip}

The first chart shows that SAT scores are highly correlated with income. {snip} The writing test has the widest score gap, perhaps explaining why College Board officials are dropping the essay.


The second chart shows that students from educated families do better. {snip}


The third chart shows that Asians and whites get much higher scores than other ethnic groups. Asians top the test with an average score of 1,645, while African Americans record the lowest score with an average of 1,278. It appears that the advantage of white students over black and Hispanic students is roughly similar for the reading, math and writing test.