Why Such Low Scores on the 2019 PSAT ?


Was there a problem with the 2019 PSAT test? According to Compass Educational Group's report by Art Sawyer, there was a major drop in the 2019 PSAT scores released last month. This of course raised concern with counselors and schools across the country. The drop was noted in scores of both Sophomores as well as Juniors. Those considered high-performing students scored as much as 30 points lower than in previous years Sawyer reports. Inequities in scores were noted to be the highest for the October 16th test, which was taken by 86% of the students. The Math scores were the most impacted. The test scores from the previous years of 2018, 2017 and 2016 were in line. If accurate, the 2019 scores would put classes of 2021 and 2022 a half a year behind their peers. Further data analysis suggests a test construction problem with the PSAT, especially for the October 16th exam. The declining scores were well outside the norm of testing variation. Counselors using PSAT to determine a students eligibility for AP classes should take this into consideration. When deciding if your student should take ACT over SAT, it is advisable not to use these scores as your determiner. Take a full practice SAT as well as a full practice ACT to use as your baseline. I expect we will be hearing more from The College Board as to what went wrong and what their plans are for future tests.

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