The average SAT scores for the high school class of 2013 remained stagnant from the previous year and fewer than half of the students who graduated were prepared for the rigors of college, officials said.
Average SAT scores for high school seniors nationwide stayed steady in reading, math and writing, according to a report released last week by the College Board, the New York-based nonprofit that administers the SAT and Advanced Placement program.
The combined average SAT score of 1498 was the same as last year; a perfect score on the three-section test is 2400. In California, the combined average score of 1505 dropped two points from last year and 12 points from 2010. Perhaps more telling, only 48% of test takers reached the “SAT Benchmark” — a score of 1550 that indicates a 65% likelihood that students will obtain a first-year college grade-point average of B- or higher, according to the College Board. Students who reach that threshold are more likely to enroll in a four-year school and complete their degree, the College Board said. There was, however, the highest representation of minorities among test takers in history.
“In 2013, 46% of those who took the test were minorities, up from 40% in 2009. African American, American Indian and Latino students made up 30% of test takers, up from 27% in 2009. In California, 57% of graduating seniors — 234,767 students — took the exam, the highest number ever for the state. Nationwide, participation has dipped slightly since 2011 for the SAT. Meanwhile, a rival college entrance exam, the ACT, has seen a steady rise in participation since 2003. About 54% of graduating seniors nationwide took the ACT, up from about 40% in 2003. In California, 26% of graduates took the exam, up from 15% in 2003, according to ACT officials.”
More at: http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-sat-scores-20130929,0,2158987.story?track=rss
With a 20.9 composite average, the 2013 ACT scores are the lowest they’ve been in five years, with the biggest drops occurring in the English and reading sections, reports InsideHigher Ed.
“The high school class of 2013’s composite average is down 0.2 points from 21.1 last year, and English and reading scores (averaging 20.2 and 21.1) are down 0.3 and 0.2 points, respectively.
“The diversity of students in the pool continues to grow, which is a good thing. The aspirations of those students continues to rise, which is a good thing,” ACT President Jon Erickson said. “But the performance of the students still leaves something to be desired.”
“More students are taking the exam — some of whom are required by schools to do so but have no collegiate aspirations — which accounts in part for the lower scores, Erickson said. ACT also made some logistical changes this year: updating the reading and science benchmarks, and including scores of students who were accommodated with extra time.“I’m kind of looking at this as a new normal,” he said, “a new baseline.”
“The score decline in composite average as well as for each individual benchmark — English, reading, mathematics and science – was steeper among students who did not complete a high school core curriculum comprising four years of English and three years of each other benchmark subject. Twenty-six percent of tested students – one percentage point higher than last year – met all four subject benchmarks, which indicate a 50 percent chance of making a B grade or 75 percent chance of a C grade in corresponding college courses. The majority of students (64 percent) met the English benchmark, while 44 percent met reading and/or math benchmarks and 36 percent made it in science.”
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/21/act-scores-fall-lowest-level-five-years#ixzz2clvatvAm
Inside Higher Ed
“The truth is that many future poets, novelists, and screenwriters are not likely to be straight-A students, either in high school or in college.” Helen Vendler writes in the current Harvard Magazine about the pitfalls of by-the-numbers admissions practices that can overlook creative brilliance. “The arts through which they will discover themselves prize creativity, originality, and intensity above academic performance; they value introspection above extroversion, insight above rote learning. Continue reading “Do college admissions overlook brilliant artists?”