The Persistent Racial Gap in Scores on the SAT College Entrance Examination

The College Board has released its annual report on the scores of graduating high school seniors in the Class of 2019 on the SAT college entrance examination. More than 271,000 African Americans in the CLass of 2019 took the test. They made up 12.2 percent of the 2.2 million test takers in the Class of 2019.

Three years ago The College Board “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.

Each of the two sections of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points. This year African Americans had a mean score of 476 on the reading test. This was 86 points lower than the mean score for Whites. On the mathematics section, African Americans scored an average of 457. This was 96 points lower than the mean score for Whites. Thus, on the combined test, Blacks had a mean score of 933 and Whites had a mean score of 1114. Although the redesigned SAT shows higher overall scores, the racial gap remains about the same. In fact, the racial gap increased from a year ago.

The results showed that only 20 percent of African American test takers met the college and career readiness benchmark for both reading and mathematics. Some 57 percent of Whites met the readiness benchmarks in both reading and mathematics. Nearly half of all Black test takers did not meet the minimum benchmark in either reading or mathematics. For Whites, the figure was 18 percent.


Comments (3)

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  1. Dr. Jamie Pleasant says:

    The SAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 1600. The two sub sections are scored on a scale of 200 to 800. Come on writer. Get this right!

    • Dr. AT says:

      The author clearly states “EACH of the two sections of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points.” Eight hundred times 2 equals 1600. Possibly, the author assumed readers could perform simple math? Important article since changes to test still result in same racial outcomes.

      • Jamie Pleasant says:

        If you read my response, you will see that I state what you just said, which means that couldn’t have been the way the writer stated it originally. LOL. But, u got to express your thoughts. LOL LOL

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