SAT® Scores Stable as Record Numbers Take Test
A reporter at the College-Bound Seniors press conference at the College Board New York Office
A record number of students in the class of 2008 took
the SAT® this year, including a higher percentage of first-generation college-bound students than last year and a high rate of minority students.
This year’s test averages remained stable, mirroring the averages of the class of 2007 in each of the test’s three segments: 502 in critical reading, 515 in mathematics and 494 in writing. The score trends show that female students have narrowed the performance gap with males in critical reading, closing the gap to 4 points, compared with 7 points a decade ago, and females continue to outperform males on the writing section — by 13 points this year.
College Board President Gaston Caperton and Senior Vice President Laurence Bunin shared results with media representatives at a news conference in New York on Aug. 26.
“Student interest and participation in the SAT has grown to historic levels, and our outreach into minority, low-income and other underserved student groups is yielding tremendous results,” Caperton said. “More than ever, the SAT reflects the face of education in this country.”
The number of SAT takers rose to more than 1.5 million,
an 8 percent increase from five years ago and a 29.5 percent increase from 10 years ago. Minority SAT takers accounted for 40 percent of all test-takers, up from 33 percent 10 years ago. The number of first-generation college-bound students has increased over the last decade and from last year, up to 36 percent in the 2008 class.
The College Board gave a record number of fee waivers to students in the class of 2008, with 221,962 students qualifying for and receiving them. These numbers indicate an increase in the number of traditionally underserved students preparing for college success.
Bunin noted the significance of the writing section of the test. Research has shown it to be the most predictive section of the test for determining first-year college success. It also has been found to be a factor in the increased emphasis on writing in middle and high school curricula.
“The SAT is a fair test for all students,” he said. “It’s the test that measures what kids learn in high school and how they apply that knowledge — in college and in life beyond.”