RICHMOND — Virginia high school graduates outperformed their global peers on the SAT in 2021, according to data released Tuesday by the College Board, the non-profit organization that administers the college admissions test.
Forty-one percent of Virginia’s 2021 graduates took the SAT, compared to 65% of the commonwealth’s 2020 graduates. The College Board attributes the sharp decline in participation — and related fluctuations in student performance on the test — to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a pause in testing during spring 202, and the closure or reduced capacity of local testing centers in response to public health orders.
Of the 38,927 Virginia 2021 graduating seniors who took the SAT, 63% met or exceeded the College Board’s college-readiness benchmarks in both the reading and writing, and the mathematics sections. Globally, 46% of SAT takers met the readiness standard on both sections of the test.
“While this year’s results represent a snapshot of achievement on the SAT during an extraordinary year, Virginia students overall continue to perform well above their peers nationwide,” said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane.
The commonwealth’s high school graduates outscored their peers overall and on both required sections of the college-admissions test, as follows:
Virginia’s average overall score of 1151 was 91 points higher than the average for all 2021 tested graduating seniors.
Virginia’s average of 584 on the reading and writing section of the SAT was 51 points higher than the average for all 2021 tested graduating seniors.
Virginia’s average score of 567 in mathematics was 39 points higher than the average for all 2021 tested graduating seniors.