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Idaho Grads Near Top In SAT Scores, Near Bottom In Taking The Test


Idaho’s most recent high school grads exceeded national averages on the SAT. The company that administers the college entrance exam released numbers Monday. 

Students who graduated in 2012 beat the national SAT scores by wide margins in all three subject areas.

Idaho 2012 grads:

  • Critical Reading – 547
  • Math – 541
  • Writing – 525

National 2012 grads:

  • Critical Reading – 496
  • Math – 514
  • Writing - 488

Twenty percent of Idaho seniors took the test sometime during high school placing Idaho near the bottom in the country for participation. Twenty-four states have more than half their students take the SAT. Generally speaking the lower the participation, the higher the average scores because only the most motivated students sign up.
Perhaps a better measure is to compare Idaho’s new grads to the class of 2011. The participation rate was the same and the 2012 seniors beat their predecessors by a few points in each subject.

Idaho 2011 grads:

  • Critical Reading – 542
  • Math – 539
  • Writing - 517

When the scores come out next year, Idaho will be among the states with the highest participation. That's because in April the state paid for all high school juniors to take the SAT as part of new graduation requirements. Idaho joins Maine and Delaware in doing this. The 17,000 Idaho juniors who took the test scored well below the national figures released Monday. 
Idaho 2012 Juniors:

  • Critical Reading - 448
  • Math - 454
  • Writing - 447

Idaho’s seniors will have close to 100 percent participation when results get released next year. The State Department of Education expects corresponding low average scores.