The Racial Scoring Gap of the New SAT College Entrance Examination

The College Board has released its annual report on the scores of graduating high school seniors in the Class of 2017 on the SAT college entrance examination. The College Board has “redesigned” the SAT and therefore it claims that current scores cannot be compared to those from the past. Scores on the redesigned test are significantly higher than those from previous years.

The SAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points for both the reading and mathematics sections of the test. Whites had an average score of 565 on the reading section compared to an average score for Blacks of 479. On the mathematics section, the mean score for Whites was 553 compared to 462 for Blacks.

For the Class of 2017, the mean combined score on the SAT test was 1118 for White students and 941 for Black students. This 177-point scoring gap is less than has been the case in the past. But The College Board maintains that these scores cannot be compared to previous results, so we have no idea if Black students are closing the racial gap.


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