Idaho SAT Scores Illustrate College-Readiness Gap

Jun 23, 2017

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Idaho high school juniors are more likely to miss the two “college-readiness” benchmarks on the SAT than hit both benchmarks.

Only 32 percent of juniors met the SAT benchmarks, down from 33 percent a year ago.

Idaho released the April SAT scores last week, and the news isn’t encouraging. Idaho’s free “SAT Day” allows high school juniors a chance to see if they’re ready for college. SAT Day also takes a snapshot of Idaho high schoolers — 13 months before graduation day.

The SAT Day results illustrate the challenges facing Idaho, as it hopes to boost its lackluster college graduation rates.


The SAT is one of the nation’s best-known and most widely used college-entrance exams. The two-part exam covers math and evidence-based reading and writing. Each section carries a maximum score of 800, so a 1,600 is a perfect SAT score.

But college- and career-readiness is a more useful metric. The College Board, the SAT’s vendor, defines “readiness” as a 75 percent chance of earning at least a C in introductory college courses. The magic numbers: a 480 in reading and writing and a 530 in math.

The test and its benchmarks have value, said State Board of Education President Linda Clark, because the SAT has been around for decades and is widely accepted in the higher education community. The test scores are an indicator of college readiness, but just one indicator.

“I’m always concerned about a single measure,” said Clark, a former superintendent in the West Ada School District. “I like to think of it as one measure of preparedness.”

Click here to read the entire story from Idaho Ed News.