State Average SAT Scores Released
By Kathleen Murphy, Staff Writer
The College Board released average SAT scores from the states Tuesday (8/28), but warned journalists not to try to use the scores to rank the states. Instead, the examination board listed the states by the percentage of students that sat for the test.
"It illustrates what we have been trying to tell reporters, that your participation rate is a major factor in your SAT scores," said Janice Gams, a College Board spokesperson.
For instance, 82 percent of Connecticut's students took the test, the highest percentage of participants in 2001. The average verbal score in Connecticut was 509 and the average math score was 510. Mississippi beat out the Nutmeg State's verbal and math averages with 566 and 551 respectively. The catch - only 4 percent of Mississippi's students sat for the exam.
"This was something we should have done long ago because it matches what we have been warning the media about. By doing this we are finally illustrating the general effect of the participation rate - you have very high scoring states at the bottom," Gams said.
Across the nation, 45 percent of this year's 2.85 million high school graduates took the SAT. Students in Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire participated in the highest numbers. Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Utah had the fewest students participate.
Strikingly, there has been significant improvement in the average SAT scores for most states over the last decade. Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin improved the most, while Alaska, Delaware, Montana and Nevada had the least improvement.
To see the details of your state's SAT participation go to College Board News Release.