SAT average declines slightly in Connecticut
The 2015 College Board Program results, which include SAT, PSAT/NMSQT and AP exam participation and performance, were released Thursday, Sept. 3, and show a slight decline in Connecticut’s average overall SAT score. Individual district results were not released.
Connecticut’s average SAT score slipped from 1,525 in 2014 to 1,514 this year.
This year, Connecticut students earned the following scores in each of the three SAT categories:
- Mathematics: 506.
- Reading: 504.
- Writing: 504.
According to College Board, 36,445, or 89.3%, of Connecticut students from the 2015 graduating class took the SAT — a slight increase from the 36,370 students in the 2014 graduating class.
Nationwide, a record 1.7 million students from the class of 2015 took the SAT, and 41.9% of them met the SAT college and career readiness benchmark.
According to College Board, “high school graduates who reach the benchmark are more likely to enroll in a four-year college and graduate on time than those who do not meet the benchmark.”
In Connecticut, 17,067, 46.8%, of SAT test-takers from the 2015 class met the benchmark.
By gender, boys taking the SAT had a mean score of 520 in math, 505 in reading and 496 in writing.
Girls had a mean score of 492 in math, 503 in reading and 511 in writing.
Scores of students in schools classified as independent were significantly higher than those in religious or public schools.
Independent school students had a mean score of 581 in math, 571 in reading and 571 in writing.
Religiously affiliated school students had a mean score of 536 in math, 532 in reading and 532 in writing.
Public school students had a mean score of 495 in math, 494 in reading and 494 in writing.
There was a wide disparity of scores relating to family income. The statistic show that as family income rises, so do the mean scores.
Students coming from families earning $20,000 or less had a mean score of 417 in math, 424 in reading and 423 in writing. These students made up 8% of those taking the SAT.
By contrast, students coming from families earning more than $200,000 — 14% of those taking the test — had mean scores of 591 in math, 579 in reading and 581 in writing.
The level of parental education also showed a disparity of scores. Students whose parents had only a high school diploma accounted for 28% of those taking the test, as did students whose parents had earned a graduate degree.
The students whose parents had a high school diploma had mean scores of 456 in math, 459 in reading and 459 in writing.
The students whose parents had a graduate degree had mean scores of 573 in math, 570 in reading and 570 in writing.
Click here to learn more about the SAT.
In 2014, 69,563 Connecticut students took the PSAT/NMSQT, which “are the best predictor of a student’s potential to success in certain AP courses,” according to College Board.
The PSAT/NMSQT will be administered Oct. 14 this year with an Oct. 18 alternate day.
Last October, 66.7% of 10th graders and 77.5% of 11th graders in Connecticut took the test.
Of those test-takers, 44% of 10th graders and 46.4% of 11th graders met the grade-level benchmark, indicating that they are “on track for college and career institutes,” according to the College Board, which also found that 10,626 of 10th grade Connecticut test-takers “demonstrated potential to succeed in at least one AP course, including 4,905 in an AP STEM subject.”
The percentage of Connecticut 11th graders who met the mark is slightly lower than the 48% nationwide average.
Click here to learn more about the PSAT/NMSQT.
In 2015, 33,783 Connecticut students took an AP exam — 1,682 more students than did the previous year.
Not only did the number of Connecticut AP exam test-takers increase, but so did the number of AP exams taken. In Connecticut, students took 62,564 AP exams in 2015 — 3,436 more than were taken in 2014 and 12,956 more than were taken in 2011.
Wilton High School is offering more than 20 AP courses this school year in its computer science, English, math, music, science, social studies, visual arts and world language departments.
Nationwide, 2.5 million students took AP exams in 2015, according to College Board. Just four years ago, fewer than two million students took AP exams.
Furthermore, more than 1.5 million American students received a score of 3 or higher on an AP exam in 2015 — up from 1.4 million in 2014 and 1.2 million in 2011.
The College Board will administer a new SAT in March 2016 with the following changes:
- An all-new essay that’s optional.
- No penalty for guessing.
- No outdated vocabulary.
Despite the changes, according to the College Board’s website, the following aspects of the SAT will remain the same:
- It’s accepted by almost all U.S. colleges.
- It’s typically taken by juniors in the spring and seniors in the fall.
- Used with high school GPA, SAT scores are “a powerful combination” in “predicting potential college success.”
The SAT will include four parts — reading, writing and language, math and the optional SAT Essay — and scored on a 400-1,600 scale. There will be four answer choices for each multiple choice question.
Students will be given three hours to complete the exam and those who choose to do the new SAT Essay will be given an additional 50 minutes.
Seniors taking the exam this fall will take the current SAT.
Click here to learn more about the new SAT.