SAT scores in Idaho get lower and lower each year

Wendy Guo, Features Assistant

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Idaho’s SAT scores are on a decline, according to data released by the College Board on Sept. 24.The scores for Idaho’s class of 2019 met a lower average than the previous year, decreasing by eight points and scoring an average composite of 993 out of 1600 points. This marks the second year of scores decreasing.

The College Board, based in New York City, provides a benchmark for students who are considering college. If they meet the benchmarks in both the math (540) and language (480) portions, they are considered college and career ready, according to argusobserver.com. The board estimates each student who meets these benchmarks will have a 75% chance of attaining a C average or better in their first semester of college.

But Idaho students are struggling to improve scores and majority of students are failing to meet these criteria. According to Idednews.org:
• 58% of 2019 graduates met the readiness benchmark in reading and writing.
• 34% of students met the math benchmark.
• Only 32% of students met the benchmark in both portions, down 1% from 2018.
• 40% of students didn’t meet either benchmark in reading and writing and math.

Normally, high schoolers take the SAT for the first time in the spring of their junior year. The students take the test for free at the cost of taxpayers and, according to KOZE.com, they invest about $1 million each year.

“I feel that it’s extremely important to take [the SATs] seriously because you can save a lot of money and time, especially in college,” said Kaylin Roby, the college and career counselor.

Idaho is one of the few states that reports more than 95 percent of its students participate in the SATs. Compared to other states with high engagement rates, Idaho ranks ninth out of 10 states, with Delaware at the bottom.

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