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READY (OR NOT): Only 43 Percent of the Class of 2012 Met College Readiness Benchmark on SAT

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“Our nation’s future depends on the strength of our education system. When less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, that system is failing. We must make education a national priority and deliver rigor to more students.”

Only 43 percent of students in the high school Class of 2012 met the SAT benchmark1 indicating that they were prepared for college, as reported in The SAT® Report on College & Career Readiness: 2012, released by the College Board on September 24. Among individual subjects, 55 percent were considered college ready in mathematics, compared to only 49 percent in critical reading, and 45 percent in writing.

According to the report, students who met the subject-level college-ready benchmarks were more likely to have completed a core curriculum2and participated in rigorous honors or Advanced Placement (AP) courses. For example, 83 percent of students who took honors or AP math met the math benchmark. The same was true for 71 percent in critical reading and 66 percent in writing.

“This report should serve as a call to action to expand access to rigor for more students,” said Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board. “Our nation’s future depends on the strength of our education system. When less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, that system is failing. We must make education a national priority and deliver rigor to more students.”

The good news is that the number and diversity of students taking the SAT continues to grow. According to the report, more than 1.6 million students in the Class of 2012 took the SAT, making it the largest class of SAT takers in history. Of that class, 45 percent were students of color, making it also the most diverse class of SAT takers ever.

The SAT® Report on College & Career Readiness: 2012 is available at http://bit.ly/QDryHS.

The SAT benchmark score of 1550 indicates a 65 percent likelihood of achieving a B- average or higher during the first year of college, which research suggests is indicative of a high likelihood of college success and completion.
A core curriculum is defined as four or more years of English; three or more years of mathematics; three or more years of natural sciences; and three or more years of social sciences and history.

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