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College Board releases annual SAT score results

Today, the College Board, which administers the SAT, released state reports. For Delaware, the report covers two distinct student populations:  scores for public school students who as juniors took the Universal SAT administered during the school day in April 2014 and those for the graduating Class of 2014, which includes public and private school students, including those public school students whose Universal SAT scores were released last fall.  



Beginning in April 2011, Delaware became the first in the nation to fund a school-day administration of the college readiness exam to every public school 11th grader in the state. Originally funded as part of the state’s federal Race to the Top grant, Delaware has continued the program using state funds. Thanks to the program, Delaware educators also receive detailed reports on spring SAT results to help them identify content strengths and weakness among their students. This is important for students to prepare for graduation so they can be ready to go on to postsecondary education or the workforce without the need for remediation. Providing every student with the chance to take the SAT at no cost is an important step toward increasing access to postsecondary education.

Providing the SAT to all public school 11th graders is part of Delaware’s larger strategy to improve college and career readiness among all Delaware students and increase the number of students who are likely to apply to college.

“Enabling students to take the exam during a regular school day at their own high school helps students who may otherwise be hindered by other factors,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said, noting examples such as the cost of registration, lack of transportation to the test center, unfamiliarity with the test and how to prepare, and conflicts with job or family responsibilities. “Thousands of additional Delaware students are taking the SAT because of this program. We are eliminating barriers and encouraging a college-ready culture in every school for every student.”

For the Class of 2015, whose members took the SAT as juniors last spring as part of the school day Universal SAT administration, the state mean scores were:

Class of 2015 (Public) Universal SAT Mean Scores

Critical reading







The analysis schools receive shows not just their students’ raw scores but detailed reports that outline how students performed in critical areas within the reading, writing and math portions of the exam. 


Prior to the Universal SAT program, fewer than 3,200 students took the SAT, including public and private school students. For the Class of 2014, 8,122 students took the exam in Delaware. That figure includes the 7,937 students who took the exam as juniors two years ago as part of the Universal SAT program.

While the Universal SAT data outlined above for the Class of 2015 includes all public school students who took the exam during the school day as juniors, the Class of 2014 information being released today is for a larger group of students. The results for Delaware’s Class of 2014 include all students (public and private) who took the SAT during their high school career.




Class of 2014 (Public and Private) SAT Mean Scores

Critical reading






Under the Universal SAT program, the state expected that with a significant increase in the number of students taking the test, some of whom are not preparing for college at this time, the average SAT scores likely would decline compared to the results prior to the program. This also makes it challenging to compare Delaware’s average state scores to those of other states, which do not test all students.

While mean scores have declined when comparing the 2011 cohort (the graduating class prior to the Universal SAT program) to the 2014 cohort due to the increased participation, half of the schools that administer the SAT have seen increases in the mean scores from the 2012 cohort (the first graduating class to participate) to the 2014 cohort. For example, Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Dickinson High School saw a mean total score increase of 101 points from 2012 to 2014 with an almost 58 percent increase in participation. And Cape Henlopen School District’s Cape Henlopen High School saw a mean total score increase of 27 points while seeing a 19 percent increase in participation.

The state also has seen an increase of 5.7 percent from 2012 to 2014 of the number of students ready for college and career, as determined by the College Board’s College and Career Readiness Benchmark, a research-based benchmark of 1550 associated with a target level of college achievement.

The Universal SAT program also significantly has increased the number of female test-takers: 50 percent from 2011 to 2014.

*Note: The Universal SAT mean scores represent all district and charter school students who took the SAT on April 16th, 2014. It does not include the make-up test takers.

Alison May