August 31, 2004 

CollegeBound Students Outperform Nation on
SAT as (Santa Fe, NM)New Mexico’s collegebound students scored higher in 2004 than their national peers on the SAT® I (Scholastic Assessment Test), a major college entrance examination measuring verbal and math reasoning skills. Students averaged a score of 554 on the verbal portion of the test and 543 on the math portion, compared with national averages of 508 on the verbal and 518 on the math. New Mexico’s scores increased by six points in verbal and three points in math over 2003, with the verbal score reaching a sixyear high.
“This growth is extremely encouraging. The bar has been raised in New Mexico, and the early results are promising. We must continue this momentum and not rest until the achievement gap is eliminated. All students can achieve at high levels,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García. The verbal score for American Indians (three percent of testtakers) reached a fiveyear high, and fiveyear highs were seen in the math scores for American Indians and Blacks (2.1% of testtakers). The American Indian verbal score (475) grew by 46 points and the math score (487) grew by 68 points over 2003. For Blacks, the verbal score (496) grew by 12 points and the math score (507) grew by 50 points.
Blacks, Hispanics (14.6% of testtakers) and Whites (49.1% of testtakers) outscored their national peers in both verbal and math. Nationally, Blacks scored 430 in verbal and 427 in math. Hispanics scored 456 in verbal and 460 in math, compared to 514 in verbal and 502 in math in New Mexico. Whites scored 528 in verbal and 531 in math, compared to 565 in verbal and 552 in math in New Mexico. The College Board reports that 14 percent of New Mexico’s high school graduates, or 2,738 students, including 77 percent from public schools, took the SAT. The scores of the state’s public school collegebound students also exceeded the national average. The average verbal and math scores for these testtakers were 546 and 535, respectively, as compared to national averages for public school students of 504 on the verbal portion and 513 on the math portion. Asian (4.1% of testtakers), Black (2.4% of testtakers), Hispanic (15.1% of testtakers) and White (50.7% of testtakers) public school scores exceed those of their national peers. Black public school graduates in New Mexico made dramatic gains – 24 points on the verbal, for a score of 477, and 56 points on the math, for a score of 486. The majority of testtakers (87%), including public school students, had taken four or more years of English. Seventyone percent had taken four or more years of math. But only 47% had taken four or more years of natural sciences and 43% had taken four or more years of social science and history. Students with four or more years of study in the core academic areas scored higher than those with less than four years of study. “The more rigorous a student’s educational experience, the more prepared he or she will be for future opportunities, including college. It is critical for every student to be given the opportunity to reach new heights in learning,” said Secretary Dr. García. Students indicated an interest in studying health and allied services, engineering, social sciences and history, visual and performing arts and business and commerce, among others. Half of testtakers sent score reports to the University
of New Mexico and 24% sent score reports to New Mexico State University.
The other colleges in the top five were the New Mexico Institute of
Mining and Technology, Colorado State University and Arizona State
University. 
