Virginia SAT Scores Rise, But Racial Gap Remains

Virginia SAT Scores Rise, But Racial Gap Remains

RICHMOND, Va.

Virginia’s high school students improved their performance on the verbal and math SAT in 2005, the College Board said this week.

The average verbal score was 516 out of a possible 800 points, up a point from 515 in 2004; the average math score was 514, up from 509 the previous year.

Virginia’s cumulative score was 1030, compared with the national average of 1028, according to the College Board, which owns and administers the Scholastic Assessment Test. Virginia’s average verbal score was higher than 2004’s national average of 508, but math scores were lower than the national average of 520.

The math and verbal sections are each graded on a 200-point to 800-point scale.

Composite scores for Virginia students describing themselves as Black rose 11 points to 865, up from 854 in 2004. But a racial gap remains: White students’ scores rose to 1070, up from 1058; students describing themselves as of Asian or Pacific Islander descent had an average composite score of 1071, up from 1063.

While only 49 percent of the nation’s high school seniors took the assessment exam last year, about 73 percent of Virginia’s seniors took the test.

SAT scores play a role in the admissions process at about 80 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities without open admissions policies. However, most colleges also accept results from the ACT exam. Earlier this month, ACT administrators said that cumulative scores for the class of 2005 were unchanged from the previous year.

The College Board has cautioned against using the SAT as a gauge of overall state education performance. The best national measure of educational progress among states is the National Assessment of Educational Progress, many education officials have said.

Associated Press



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