March 29, 2020

A record number of students took the SATs in 2019. Here’s how they did.

The College Board has released information about 2019’s SAT takers and their results.

Here are some highlights:

Over 2.2 million students in the class of 2019 took the SAT, an increase of 4% over the class of 2018, according to the 2019.

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Almost a million students in the class of 2019 took the SAT on a school day, up from nearly 780,000 in the class of 2018. This means 43% of the class of 2019 took the SAT on a school day, compared to 36% of the class of 2018.

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In the class of 2019, 46% of SAT School Day test takers were from high-poverty public schools, compared to only 22% of students who tested on a weekend; 46% of SAT School Day test takers were underrepresented minorities, versus only 32% of those who tested on weekends; and 45% of SAT School Day test takers were first-generation, compared to 30% of weekend testers.

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The average SAT score for the class of 2019 is down slightly—1059 compared to 1068 for the class of 2018. In terms of college readiness, 45% of SAT takers in the class of 2019 met or exceeded both the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math benchmarks, indicating a high likelihood for success in credit-bearing college coursework. This is down slightly from 47% for the class of 2018.

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Retaking the SAT tends to yield higher SAT scores. Lower-income students see larger score increases than their higher-income peers when they retake the SAT, and their likelihood of enrolling in a four-year college goes up by 30 percentage points.

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While lower-income students tend to see greater score gains on retakes than their higher-income peers, they are also, unfortunately, less likely to retake the SAT. To help lower-income students show what they have achieved in high school, the College Board is encouraging these students to test earlier, which would leave more time to take additional courses to strengthen their readiness skills, to practice these skills, and to demonstrate their progress by retaking the SAT.

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