SAT scores fall, as the number of test takers rebounds
Despite the surge in colleges going "test optional," the number of students taking the SAT "is growing back to pre-pandemic figures," reports Ileana Najarro in Education Week. More than 1.9 million students in the class of '23 took the test.
The mean score was 1028, compared to 1082 in 2017. Only 40 percent of test-takers met college readiness benchmarks in reading, writing and math, College Board reports. That is, most do not have a "high likelihood for success in credit-bearing college coursework."
Some colleges, notably MIT, have gone back to requiring SAT or ACT scores, Najarro writes. Grade inflation has made GPAs unreliable, and more subjective factors, such as extracurriculars, essays and recommendations, tend to favor privileged students.
Among fall 2021 first-year college enrollees with the same high school grades, students with higher SAT scores . . . had higher average first-year grades, credit accumulation, and retention rates," according to recent research. Not surprisingly, "students with the lowest retention rates are much less likely to have disclosed their scores."