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Nearly 2.2 Million Students in the Class of 2020 Took The SAT At Least Once

Majority of the Class of 2020 Took the SAT Before the Impact of Covid-19

New York—Nearly 2.2 million students in the high school class of 2020 took the SAT, essentially remaining level with the class of 2019, according to the 2020 SAT Suite of Assessments Program Results released today.

While many students were unable to take the SAT due to the impact of covid-19, the overwhelming majority of students in the class of 2020 who wanted to test were able to sit for an SAT administration before the virus caused global shutdowns. Disruptions to the SAT schedule caused by the virus have affected members of the class of 2021. Test administrations were canceled in the spring and summer due to the pandemic. The College Board is holding SAT administrations each month, including a recent one in August, through the end of the year to ensure that students can test safely. Local test sites determine whether testing may take place in accordance with public health and safety requirements, including those required by the College Board.

"Members of the class of 2020 were able to take the SAT before covid caused shutdowns across the world—on the weekend and increasingly in the school setting during the school day—and stand out in admissions. Guided by the expertise of public health officials, we are working with schools and communities to safely administer the SAT where possible and give members of the class of 2021, who have faced unprecedented disruption, the same opportunities," said Priscilla Rodriguez, VP, College Readiness Assessments. "Next year's report will reflect the impact of covid-19 on the class of 2021."

For the class of 2021, the College Board has asked colleges to be flexible with students who have not had the opportunity to test, test late, or may have only tested once. In the longer term as the admissions process stabilizes post-covid-19, the College Board will support our higher ed members as they transition back to all students having the opportunity to submit scores. Research shows the value of using SAT scores as one part of the admissions process:

  • Test scores and grades together are the best way to predict success in college.
  • Considering test scores in context helps admissions officers make more equitable and inclusive admissions decisions.

SAT School Day Providing Access to Opportunity

Nearly 1.1 million students in the class of 2020 took the SAT on a school day, up from almost 1 million in the class of 2019, and 49% of the class of 2020 took the SAT on a school day, compared to 43% of the class of 2019.

"The increase in SAT School Day participation is significant because it provides additional access for underrepresented minority students," said Rodriguez. "We strive to provide opportunities for students from all walks of life, and SAT School Day is a significant part of advancing that mission."

Performance

The average SAT score is down slightly for the class of 2020—1051 compared to 1059 for the class of 2019. Holding steady from last year, 45% of SAT takers in the class of 2020 met or exceeded both the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math college readiness benchmarks, indicating a high likelihood for success in credit-bearing college coursework.

PSAT-Related Assessments

Because of the impact of covid-19, participation in PSAT-related assessments was down from 6.03 million in 2019 to approximately 5.03 million for the 2020 administration. PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 administrations, which are offered in the spring, were seriously impacted by covid-19. Students in the class of 2020 had opportunities to take PSAT-related assessments earlier in high school. PSAT-related assessments provide students benefits like connection to free, personalized practice on Khan Academy; over $350 million in other scholarship opportunities; and information about their potential to succeed in Advanced Placement.

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Contact:

College Board Communications Office
communications@collegeboard.org
212-713-8052

About College Board

College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success—including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement® Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools. For further information, visit collegeboard.org.