The Large Racial Scoring Gap on Important SAT II Subject Tests

Last week JBHE reported that black students are far less likely than white students to take SAT II subject tests. These tests, given in 22 different subject areas, are usually required only by the nation’s most selective colleges and universities.

Of all the widely taken SAT II tests in 2006, the black-white racial scoring gap of 98 points, or approximately 15 percent, was the greatest on the American history test. There were also large racial gaps on both mathematics tests and both English tests. Racial gaps of 80 points or more also exist on the biology, physics, and chemistry tests.

The large racial gap on the English writing test, the most widely taken SAT II subject test and arguably the most important in the college admissions process, is of major concern.