Alaska senior students ranked 47th lowest in 2016 SAT scores


(App users, to view the interactive data visualization, follow this link).

Methodology: Data is sourced from The College Board, otherwise known as the official SAT test administrators.

The SAT Program uses a 200 to 800 point scale, per category. To adjust and recenter the scale for different tests and total possible points to be scored over the years, the College Board left this cliff note in its methodology:

Note: For 1972–1986 a formula was applied to the original mean and standard deviation to convert the mean to the recentered scale. For 1987–1995 individual student scores were converted to the recentered scale and then the mean was recomputed. From 1996–1999, nearly all students received scores on the recentered scale. Any score on the original scale was converted to the recentered scale prior to computing the mean. From 2000–2016, all scores are reported on the recentered scale. Cohort data presented prior to 2007 include students testing through March of the senior year, while cohort data from 2007 to 2015 include students testing through June. Cohort data presented for 2016 includes test-takers through January 2016.

Use the interactive data visualization, above, to:
- Compare average SAT scores by states and territories.
- Compare average SAT scores between Alaskan male and female students.
- Compare average national SAT scores by year, between 1972 through 2016.
- Compare average 75th, 50th and 25th percentile scores, between Alaska and the nation.
- Compare average SAT scores by years when Alaska's Class of 2016 last took the SAT.
- And compare average SAT scores among school types, between Alaska and the nation.

Last year's graduating seniors, Class of 2016, had a national average SAT composite score of 1484 out of 2400 possible points. This average includes the scores from 1,637,589 total test-takers nationwide, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

In Alaska, the state had a total of 4,161 graduating senior test-takers, and an averaged composite score of 1424. Hence in 2016, Alaska had the 47th lowest averaged SAT composite scores, nationwide.

In 2016, Alaska had an average critical reading score of 485 out of 800, an average mathematics score of 479 out of 800 and an average writing score of 460 out of 800.

Of Alaska's test-takers, male students had a slightly better testing average in the mathematics and critical reading categories. While female students had a slightly better testing average in the writing category.

When comparing average scores by 75th, 50th and 25th percentiles, almost all of Alaska's scores fall slightly below the national average. The one exception is Alaska's 25th percentile's performance in the reading category, in which Alaska's students performed exactly on par with the national average, at 410 out of 800 points.

Of the 4,161 Class of 2016 students who took the SAT in Alaska, the majority of them last took the test during their junior year of high school. However, score averages indicate that students who last took the test during their senior year of high school performed better than those who only took it during their junior year.

The highest performance average came from seven Alaskan Class of 2016 students, who only last took the test, during their sophomore year.

Additionally, The College Board data indicates that students who attended religiously affiliated-type schools performed better, on average, than their public school-type counterparts, in both Alaska and nationwide.

And the states that had the higher testing averages and ranks tended to be located within the middle of the country. While the states along the coasts tended to have mid-range or lower testing averages and ranks.

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