Racial Gap Widens on SAT Scores

As average test scores fall one point, whites continue to score higher than Blacks on the college entrance exam. 

Posted: 09/27/2012 06:08 PM EDT

Though the average scores of Black students on the combined critical reading and math portions of the SAT increased this year by one point, the racial gap between black students’ and white students’ average performance on the test has increased by seven points.

White students had an average score this year of 1063, while Black students averaged an 856, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

Since 1988, the racial gap on the reading and mathematics sections of the SAT has increased from 189 points to 207 points.

A total of 217,656 Black high school seniors took the SAT college entrance examination this year, about 13 percent of all the SAT test takers in the class of 2012.

While the racial gap widened, the test scores of all the SAT takers dropped this year by one point, the lowest scores since 1972. Some education experts are speculating that an increase in minority students taking the test could be the cause of the lowered scores. Bloomberg news reports:

In all, 755,000 minority students took the 2012 test -- up from 600,000 in 2008 -- making up 45 percent of test-takers. In addition, 458,000 of the students reported that they did not speak English as their first language, and 36 percent of test-takers did not have a parent who attended college.

The growth was nationwide. In Texas, the participation rates of Hispanic and black students have increased by 65 and 42 percent, respectively, since 2007. A record 65 percent of public high school students took the test in North Carolina. In Virginia, 40 percent of test-takers were minorities, another record.

Read the full story here.


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(Photo: Micah Walter/Getty Images)

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