Stagnant SAT scores show only 43 percent of takers are prepared for college

By Kimberly Hefling

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Sept. 26 2013 12:10 p.m. MDT

Scores on the SAT college entrance exam were largely stagnant for a third year, although African-American students made slight gains, the College Board said Thursday.

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WASHINGTON — Scores on the SAT college entrance exam were largely stagnant for a third year, although African-American students made slight gains, the College Board said Thursday.

Average scores in reading, math, and writing were the same in 2012 and 2013.

Students scored an average of 496 in reading, down one point from 2011. Average math scores have remained stuck at 514 over the last three years. And the average writing score, 488, was down one point from 2011.

The top score possible on each section is 800, and the highest possible score is 2400. A perfect score was achieved in 2013 by 494 people — less than a third of 1 percent of all test takers, according to the College Board, a nonprofit membership organization of schools and colleges that owns the exam.

Men, on average, scored better in reading and math, while women on average did better in writing.

African-American students on average scored 431 in reading, 429 in math and 418 in writing. That's slightly higher than in the previous two years.

The average for all Hispanic students was 450 in reading, 461 in math, and 443 in in writing. On average, they did slightly better in reading and writing this year than last, but math scores declined by one point.

For American Indian and Alaskan natives, scores have mostly decreased slightly since 2011. The average score in 2013 was 480 in reading, 486 in math and 461 in writing.

Asian students on average scored 521 in reading, 597 in math and 527 in writing. The scores in 2013 for this minority group were slightly better in reading and math than the two years before, although in writing the score was one point less than the previous two years.

Meanwhile, the College Board also said it is increasing outreach to about 300,000 college-ready students with the goal of expanding their access to available opportunities. In one such program, about 27,000 high-achieving, low-income students are targeted to receive information to help them more effectively explore college options.

According to the College Board news release, stagnant SAT scores show that only 43 percent of SAT takers in the class of 2013 are prepared for college-level course work.

Online: http://press.collegeboard.org/sat

Follow Kimberly Hefling at http://www.twitter.com/khefling

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