The Growing Racial Scoring Gap on the SAT II

Last week JBHE reported the persisting racial gap on SAT II subject tests. Most discouraging is the fact that the racial scoring gap on these tests continues to widen.

Among the 11 most popular SAT II tests listed in the accompanying table, the racial scoring gap has increased on 10 of the 11 tests over the past eight years. The only exception is the physics test where the racial gap has remained the same at 80 points.

The largest increases have been on the biology and French tests. On the French test in 1999, the racial gap was only 9 points. It has now opened up to 37 points. The gaps have also opened significantly on the Spanish and Latin tests. Thus, while blacks generally do well on the foreign language tests compared to whites, the gap between the two groups is widening on these tests at a faster rate than in other subject areas.