The College Board reported that SAT reading scores for graduating high school seniors this year reached the lowest point in nearly four decades.
Nationally, the reading score for the Class of 2011, including public- and private-school students, was 497, down three points from the previous year and 33 points from 1972, the earliest year for which comparisons are possible. The average math score was 514, down one point from last year but up five from 1972. The College Board points out that it is common for mean scores to decline slightly when the number of students taking an exam increases because more students of varied academic backgrounds are represented in the test-taking pool.
The College Board also said that, for the first time, more than half of all high school graduates (or 1.65 million students) took the exam. That was up from 47 percent in 2010.
Test takers were also more diverse than ever. 44 percent were minorities, 36 percent were the first in their family to go to college, and 27 percent did not speak English exclusively.
For the results and more information, including the impact of core curriculum and advanced placement (AP) coursework, see http://press.collegeboard.org/releases/2011/43-percent-2011-college-bound-seniors-met-sat-college-and-career-readiness-benchmark