College Board Releases SAT Scores, Data on 1.36M Test Takers

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The old SAT was put to bed earlier this year, and it’s in with a new version of the college admissions exam.

On Tuesday, College Board released provisional data saying 1.36 million test takers took its redesigned test between March and June 2016.

Almost 1.18 million test takers took the old SAT during the same period in 2015. In March 2014, College Board announced a plan to redesign the SAT, removing obscure vocabulary, changing focus of math areas, removing penalty for guessing on questions and making the essay optional. College Board started administering the new test in March 2016.

“The game has changed,” says David Coleman, president and CEO of College Board, in a press briefing the week before. The nonprofit wants to target changing student trajectory early on, when it comes to scores and applying to colleges, Coleman added.

Of the 1.36 million test takers participating in the new test, race and ethnicity data show about 46 percent are white, 22 percent are Hispanic and almost 12 percent are black. Some 7 percent of test takers did not answer the race and ethnicity question.

Based on College Board’s surveys, it says educators and parents support the new test, with parents five times likelier to prefer their child take the new SAT over the old one. Seven in 10 teachers support changes to the SAT, College Board claims.

Overall, more test takers took the SAT (new or old version) in 2016 than in 2015. But according to College Board’s data on mean scores, test takers scored lower in 2016 compared to 2015. The board points to the different ways test takers prepare for the exam:

“While we don’t know the exact reason for the slight difference in mean scores, we do know that in the past several years, more and more districts are offering the SAT to their students for free during the school day, resulting in a broader spectrum of preparation among test takers.”

College Board says it expects more states and districts using the SAT next year than in previous years.

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