Study Shows Only 15 Percent of African-American SAT Test Takers Are Well Prepared for College

Last week JBHE reported on the large and growing racial gap in scores on the SAT college entrance examination. This year, for the first time, The College Board calculated the percentage of students who took their test that were ready for college-level instruction. The American College Testing Program, the group that administers the rival ACT college entrance examination, has been issuing a college readiness analysis for several years.

The College Board set the benchmark score at 1550 on the combined reading, mathematics and writing SAT. According to The College Board, this benchmark score “indicates a 65 percent likelihood of a student achieving a B- average or higher during the first year of college, which in turn is indicative of a high likelihood of college success and completion.”

“Students who meet the College Board’s College Readiness benchmark are more likely to enroll in, succeed and graduate from college,” said College Board President Gaston Caperton.

The College Board data shows that only 15 percent of African-American SAT test takers achieved the benchmark score indicating readiness for college-level instruction. This is less than one third the level for white students.

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