College Board Scores Remain Steady

The record 1.5 million students who took the Scholastic Aptitude Test last year achieved scores about the same as those of students the year before. Average scores held steady in math (515), reading (502), and writing (494).

The SAT is given every year as a qualifying examination for prospective college students. Scores range from 200 to 800 points on each of the three parts, with a perfect score being 2400.

The SAT’s competitor, the American College Test, showed a slight decline in scores from 21.2 in 2007 to 21.1 this year.

About 45 percent of high school students took the SAT, a drop from 49 percent in 2005. More students switched to the ACT when the SAT introduced the writing test in 2006. Girls outscored boys on the writing section – 488 to 504 – but they lagged behind in math, 533 to 500.

Students who do not score well the first time they take the SAT will get a break in 2010, when they will be allowed to send only their top scores to colleges. Currently, when a student takes the test multiple times, colleges and universities get a look at every score.