Test scores across U.S. reveal ‘heartbreaking’ pandemic declines, with math hit hard by COVID-19
The nation’s highest-ever university entrance examination, set to determine whether 16-year-olds pass the country’s first-ever universal college admissions test, is now seeing dramatic declines in its test scores across the country.
From its height last year of about 6,000 students, test scores in the spring 2020 intake are now well below the 2017 performance, according to data supplied to the Los Angeles Times by the College Board, the body that administers the SAT.
The College Board, however, says the increase in the exam’s passing rates was due to the coronavirus pandemic of 2019.
There was a significant drop in the math test scores of 2019, but the numbers have rebounded. At the end of February, the test had only 5.8 percentage points more students answering the math question correctly than students who had not taken the exam.
“It’s like the difference between a 1 and a 1-1, or a 2 and a 1-1,” Amy Wagers, College Board spokeswoman, said. “The math changes are more profound than the ones we saw in the last school year.”
A College Board spokesman says the rise in the passing rate, which was due to the current coronavirus pandemic, made up 35 percentage points of the increase in test scores during the spring 2020 intake. That rise, however, was not reflected in the data because it occurred during the spring 2020 test.
The College Board’s data for the spring 2020 intake showed that the SAT math passing rate had fallen from 92.6 per cent to 91.9 per cent. Among all students who took the exam, test scores were also down from the 2017 performance at the end of February, when 61,051 people took the test.
The test had 6,011 more students taking it that year.
The SAT English test performance had fallen from 90.8 per cent of students scoring at the end of January to 89.9 per cent. The performance was the lowest among the different subject tests.
The College Board’s data for the spring 2020 intakes showed that the ACT reading test performance had dropped from 80.2 per cent to 80.1 per cent. However, more of that decrease was because the math score had increased from 76.1 per cent to 76.5 per cent. The SAT