New Mexico makes the SAT a graduation requirement

New Mexico is joining the ranks of states that will require high school students to take the SAT.

All New Mexico juniors will be required to take the college entrance exam next spring, the Associated Press reported Friday.

“In administering the SAT, we are paying for students’ college entrance exams for the first time ever, effectively removing one major barrier to college entrance for thousands of New Mexico students,” state Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said in a statement, according to the AP.

The New Mexico policy is similar — but not identical — to Idaho state law. All Idaho students must take a college entrance exam of some kind in order to graduate. Since Idaho high school juniors can take the SAT every spring — at a taxpayer cost of about $1 million — the SAT is effectively the state’s college entrance exam of choice.

With the new test requirement, New Mexico will also likely join the ranks of states with SAT participation rates exceeding 95 percent.

In 2019, 10 states and the District of Columbia had SAT participation rates of 95 percent or higher. Idaho was on this list, and the state’s average SAT score exceeded the District of Columbia and only one state with a high participation rate, Delaware.




Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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