Magazine article Curriculum Administrator

Math Sat Scores Rise to Highest Level since 1969

Magazine article Curriculum Administrator

Math Sat Scores Rise to Highest Level since 1969

Article excerpt

High school students' math scores on the SAT climbed this year to the highest level since 1969, while verbal scores held steady for a fifth year. The test company attributed the increase to today's college-bound high school students taking more math and science classes and nursing higher ambitions.

The average math score on the college entrance exam was 514, up three points from last year. The last time scores were higher was 31 years ago, when the average was 517; it dipped as low as 492 in 1980 and 1981.

The average verbal score this year was 505, as it has been since 1996.

The figures, released Tuesday in Washington by the New York-based College Board, are based on the SAT scores of this year's 1.26 million high school seniors who took the test sometime during high school. The math and verbal sections are each scored on a scale of 200 to 800.

"Over the last decade, male and female students from all ethnic backgrounds have been taking more pre-calculus, calculus and physics. These are some of the most rigorous courses available and help students develop excellent math skills," says Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board. "The SAT math scores of students who take these courses are well above the national average."

The three-hour exam, first given in 1926, or the rival ACT entrance exam, is required for undergraduate admission to most of the nation's 3,500 four-year colleges and universities.

The scoring system sets 500 points as the average. …

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