The average SAT score reportedly declined slightly for the class of 2019, but Asian students remain top performers.
According to non-profit organization and the administrator of the test, College Board, this year’s number of students that took the college admissions test has slightly increased by 4.76% with 2.2 million as opposed to last year’s 2.1 million.
However, the average score declined to 1059 from 1068 a year ago. In addition to the average score, the score showing students’ readiness for the first-year of college also dipped to 45% from 47%, according to the report.
The slight decline was attributed to most of the students taking the test on school days instead of the weekends.
Almost 1 million students took the test on a school day compared to last year’s 780,000. Officials said offering the test on a school day increases the number of minorities taking the test, especially those with parents who don’t have a college degree and shows increased interest in going to college.
Asian students reportedly scored the highest with a combined score of 1223 for math and reading, as well as 586 in verbal and 637 in math.
Meanwhile, Caucasian students were the second top performers with a combined SAT score of 1114, including 562 on verbal and 553 on math. This was followed by Hispanic students with an average score of 978, including 495 on verbal and 483 on math. Lastly, African American students scored a total average of 933, including 476 on verbal and 457 on math.
Wenyuan Wu, the director of administration at the New Jersey-based Asian-American Coalition for Education, warned it is unwise to compare results among various racial groups.
“Many cultural factors come into play, such as emphasis on education and community acculturation,” she told China Daily. “This overwrites the hypothesis on socioeconomic factors being the main determinant in academic performance, considering the vast diversity among Asian-Americans and prevalent poverty in many Asian-American communities across the country, including New York City. It shows that one can succeed in school and capitalize on upward mobility.”
Wu added that 31% of students who got into the Presidential Scholars Program between the years 2010 and 2014 were Asians, and recent student winners of math, science and technology awards were also Asians.
“The prevalent narrative of pitting minority groups against each other following objective findings is divisive and counterproductive,” she said. “The fact that Asian students tend to excel more academically is often used as a source of dangerous stereotypes.”
Asian American students have much more to offer than just academic performance as this doesn’t reveal the full character of the students, says Vanessa Leung, co-executive director of the Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families in New York.
“The diversity of our community in terms of ethnicity, immigration history, socioeconomic status is hidden whenever we have aggregated data,” she told the publication. “A mean score tells us nothing of the challenges that students may have had to overcome or access to opportunity made available. We know that Asian Pacific American students have much more to offer than simply test scores.”