Average scores on the SAT college entrance tests taken by this year's high school graduates improved by a single point from the year before, in keeping with a general trend toward slowly rising scores over the past decade, the College Board reported Tuesday.
The edge in average scores men have held over women, and whites over most minority groups, was little changed.
An outside testing expert called the results "equal opportunity flatness" and Gaston Caperton, president of the nonprofit College Board, owner of the SAT, faulted inequality in schooling for the poorer showing among most minorities.
Some 1.3 million students averaged 506 on the SAT's verbal portion, one point higher than last year and the highest since 1987. The average score this year on the math section was 514, same as last year's 30-year high.
Math and verbal scores have each declined only once since 1991; verbal scores slipped a point in 1994 and math scores dropped a point in 1999. A decade ago, the national average was 499 for verbal, 500 for math.
About 45 percent of this year's estimated 2.8 million graduates took the SAT sometime during high school. Scores on each section range from 200 to 800. A perfect 1600 was achieved by 587 of this year's graduates.
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