National SAT Scores Decline While Survey Shows Colleges Confident in Exam

Posted September 28, 2011 by

Are you confident that your SAT or ACT score will reflect your potential as a college student?  Apparently, most colleges do.

As a recent report from the College Board shows SAT scores are declining among college-bound high school students, Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 survey of college admissions officers* reports that 94% of college admissions officers are confident in the exam’s ability to measure students’ future success in college.  96% of admissions officers expressed confidence in the ACT’s ability to measure students’ future success in college, although national ACT scores, which were released last month, stayed essentially flat.

“While we shouldn’t read too much into year-to-year variation in scores, it’s interesting to note more broadly that standardized test scores are declining even as the average high school GPA continues to rise,” said Jeff Olson, vice president of research, Kaplan Test Prep.  A 2009 study by a professor at George Mason University reported that nationwide, the average high school GPA rose from 3.28 to 3.49 between 1995-2007, a rise of 6.4 percent or 0.5 percent a year.  Since 2006, SAT scores have generally declined or remained stagnant.

Olson added, “This is particularly noteworthy since standardized test scores, in combination with high school GPA, are considered the best measure of success in college – and our survey data shows that college admissions officers are confident in the predictive ability of the SAT and ACT.”

Kaplan Test Prep’s survey also found that of the nearly 90% of colleges surveyed that require applicants to submit an SAT or ACT score have no plans to drop the requirement.

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