NJDOE News
For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

    609-292-1126

For Release: August 26, 2003


New Jersey High School Seniors Participate in SATs More than Any State in the U.S.;
Results Part of The College Board Nationwide Study on SAT, PSAT and AP Tests

According to a nationwide study released publicly today, New Jersey high school seniors participated in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) more so than any group in the nation. Eighty-five (85) percent of all graduating seniors took the college-bound test this year, compared to the nation’s average of 48 percent, according to The College Board, who released the study.

The report, which says that more New Jersey students took the SATI, SATII, Advanced Placement (AP) and PSAT/NMSQT tests this year than last, can be found online by accessing The College Board’s Web Site, www.collegeboard.com.

"We are greatly encouraged by a report that says, in essence, that high school seniors in New Jersey are driven to continue their educational pursuits beyond the K-12 system," said Deputy Commissioner Dwight Pfennig, who is Acting Commissioner while Dr. William L. Librera is on vacation. "With our students continuing to advance their academic careers, it makes the job of New Jersey educators that much more important in the future. Our children deserve to be challenged in ways that prepare them for the future — we embrace this responsibility."

According to The College Board, 48 percent of the class of 2003 took the SAT nationwide. As a group, the more than 1.4 million SAT takers nearly equals the number of incoming freshman at four-year colleges this school year, the report states.

In New Jersey, mean SAT scores were higher in 2003 (501 in verbal and 515 in math) than in 2002 (498 in verbal and 513 in math). Over the last decade, SAT scores, both in verbal and math, have increased, according to the report. In 1993, test-takers scored 494 in the verbal portion and 498 in math. In 1998, the mean scores rose to 497 verbal and 508 in math.

Additionally, the report concludes that New Jersey public school students perform better in math than the students overall.

"From the many success stories we’ve heard over the past year," Dr. Pfennig said, "we at the Department have maintained a sense of pride for our class of 2003 — and all our high school students. We will continue to encourage them to strive for bigger challenges as they grow older. It is both the Department’s and McGreevey Administration’s wish to see our students continually succeed, and today’s report further places the spotlight on such success."

According to The College Board report, the top three college majors picked by the class of 2003 in New Jersey were business/management (10 percent of test-takers), health sciences/services (8 percent) and education (7 percent).

In reporting on AP scores for public schools, The College Board also identifies New Jersey as having a higher average of students who score the highest-score of 5 (21 percent) than the rest of the nation (13 percent). The same is true for students who score a 4 in the AP exam (25 percent in New Jersey; 20 percent nationwide).

The College Board is a national, nonprofit membership association whose mission is to prepare, inspire, and connect students to college success and opportunity, according to the organization’s Web Site. The organization was founded in 1900.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education’s Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.