Idaho SAT scores continue to drop

Idaho students lost ground on the SAT for the second year in a row, according to state data released Monday.

The SAT is a national test used for college admissions. Every year, almost all of Idaho juniors, or nearly 23,000 students, take the test for free at a cost of $1 million to state taxpayers. Because more than 95 percent of Idaho juniors take the SAT, scores provide a broad cross-section of student performance.

This year, the average score of SAT test-takers was 976 points, out of a total 1600.

That’s 13 points lower than the state average in 2018 — and more than 20 points lower than 2017. 



In a news release, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said that the state would analyze the results to better understand the trend.

“The SAT is one measure of college readiness, but focusing on one test score does not tell us the whole story for any student,” Ybarra said in the release. “We know that results can reflect attitude as well as aptitude and are impacted by a variety of factors. We need to start a conversation about what assessments and measures best reflect how well students are prepared for college or a career based on their chosen postsecondary pathway.”

Students are considered college- and career-ready when their SAT scores meet both benchmarks in math (530) and reading and writing (480). Most Idaho students failed to meet both benchmarks. Here are some data highlights:

  • 31 percent met both benchmarks (same as last year).
  • 42 percent met neither benchmark (an increase from last year).
  • 56 percent met the reading and writing benchmark (a decrease from last year).
  • 33 percent met the math benchmark (same as last year).

Juniors at Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy scored the highest average of any districts or charters in Idaho, at 1279 points.

Other school districts that outpaced the state average include:

  • Troy School District: average, 1136.
  • Madison School District: average, 1033.
  • Boise School District: average, 1028.
  • West Ada School District: average, 1024.

Curious how your school did? Check here.

Sami Edge

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