In 2005, Massachusetts seniors once again outscored their peers regionally and nationwide on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). In the Commonwealth, 86 percent of students participated in the 2005 SAT exam, scoring an average of 520 on the verbal exam and 527 on the math exam. Nationally, 49 percent of students participated, scoring an average of 508 on the verbal exam and 520 on the math exam.
With one exception (there was no improvement between 1997 and 1998), Massachusetts students have increased their scores annually from 1994 to 2005. Improvement is also evident in the combined scores. In 1994 the Massachusetts total combined verbal and mathematics scores was 1002, one point below the national average of 1003. In 2005 the Massachusetts average combined score was 1047, 19 points higher than the national average of 1028.
*SAT results include students tested from both public and private schools in Massachusetts.
15-Year Improvement on SAT Mathematics (1991-2005)
15-Year Improvement on SAT Verbal (1991-2005)
In addition to test scores, the Department collects data other indicators that relate to student success. For example, the dropout rate, which was reported as 3.7 percent, for the 2003-04 school year, is slightly higher than the dropout rate for 2002-03 (3.3 percent). Also, the number of high school graduates who plan to attend college rose to a new all time high of 78 percent in 2005.