Last spring’s seniors scored on average 502 out of a possible 800 points on the critical reading section of the country’s most popular college entrance exam, down from 503 for the class of 2006. Math scores fell three points from 518 to 515.
Scores also fell three points on the writing section, which is still in an experimental stage, from 497 to 494.
A rising percentage of test takers speak English as a second language, come from non-college-educated families and request a fee waiver. Maine, which now requires all high school students to take the SAT, saw a sharp drop in scores as a result.
Male students, who make up 46 percent of test takers, outscore female students in math (533 to 499); boys are more likely to take advanced math classes. Female students do better in writing (500 to 489). Reading scores are similar: 504 for boys, 502 for girls.