College Board releases SAT scores. Here’s how to interpret Delaware’s findings!

LOGO_medium (1)The College Board, which administers the SAT, recently released state reports. For Delaware, the report covers two distinct student populations:  scores for public school students who as juniors took the Universal SAT administered during the school day in April 2014 and those for the graduating Class of 2014, which includes public and private school students, including those public school students whose Universal SAT scores were released last fall.

For the Class of 2015, whose members took the SAT as juniors last spring as part of the school day Universal SAT administration, the state mean scores were:

Class of 2015 (Public) Universal SAT Mean Scores
Critical reading 442
Mathematics 444
Writing 420

Prior to the Universal SAT program, fewer than 3,200 students took the SAT, including public and private school students. For the Class of 2014, 8,122 students took the exam in Delaware. That figure includes the 7,937 students who took the exam as juniors two years ago as part of the Universal SAT program.

While the Universal SAT data outlined above for the Class of 2015 includes all public school students who took the exam during the school day as juniors, the Class of 2014 information being released today is for a larger group of students. The results for Delaware’s Class of 2014 include all students (public and private) who took the SAT during their high school career.

Class of 2014 (Public and Private) SAT Mean Scores
Critical reading 497
Mathematics 513
Writing 487

Under the Universal SAT program, the state expected that with a significant increase in the number of students taking the test, some of whom are not preparing for college at this time, the average SAT scores likely would decline compared to the results prior to the program. This also makes it challenging to compare Delaware’s average state scores to those of other states, which do not test all students.

While mean scores have declined when comparing the 2011 cohort (the graduating class prior to the Universal SAT program) to the 2014 cohort due to the increased participation, half of the schools that administer the SAT have seen increases in the mean scores from the 2012 cohort (the first graduating class to participate) to the 2014 cohort. For example, Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Dickinson High School saw a mean total score increase of 101 points from 2012 to 2014 with an almost 58 percent increase in participation. And Cape Henlopen School District’s Cape Henlopen High School saw a mean total score increase of 27 points while seeing a 19 percent increase in participation.

The state also has seen an increase of 5.7 percent from 2012 to 2014 of the number of students ready for college and career, as determined by the College Board’s College and Career Readiness Benchmark, a research-based benchmark of 1550 associated with a target level of college achievement.

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