Black-White Score Differences on Particular SAT II Subject Tests

SAT II subject tests are largely used by students who are applying to the nation’s selective colleges and universities. This past year showed a modest increase in the number of blacks taking these tests. Although the increased number of black students taking the tests is a good sign, there remains a large and growing racial scoring gap.

Of all the widely taken SAT II tests in 2007, the black-white racial scoring gap of 108 points, or approximately 18 percent, was the greatest on the world history test. There were also large racial gaps on both mathematics tests, English literature, and American history tests.

College-bound black students generally fared well in comparison with the scores of white students on foreign-language examinations. The black-white scoring gap was only 36 points on the Latin test and 37 points on the French test. On the Chinese test, black students actually scored 77 points higher on average than whites. But only 19 blacks and 97 whites took the test, making racial score comparisons statistically insignificant. The 19 black students who took the Chinese SAT II test had a remarkable mean score of 734. Blacks also had a higher mean score than whites on the Korean language test, but only six African-American students took the test in 2007.