SAT down, ACT up

Even as ACT scores are rising, SATs are declining: Students taking the new, longer test posted the largest drop in scores in 31 years. College Board, which runs the SATs, blamed the decline on more students taking the test only once.

Fatigue wasn’t to blame, the College Board insisted, even though this year’s class was the first to take a new version of the exam which added an essay. It now takes an average of three hours and 45 minutes to complete the test, not counting breaks.

Combined scores fell seven points to a 1021 average. Boys lost more points than girls, who outscored boys on the new writing section by 11 points.

The new exam eliminates analogies and includes higher-level math.

The results come two weeks after it was announced the class of 2006 had posted the biggest score increase in 20 years on the rival ACT exam. The ACT, which is also accepted by almost all colleges that require standardized tests, is generally more focused on material covered in high school classes than the SAT, which is more of a measure of general ability.

More students are taking both the ACT and the SAT to see which one maximizes their score.

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