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For Immediate Release: Sept. 1, 2005
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

South Dakota's SAT results remain strong

Results of the 2005 SAT, the popular college entrance exam, are now available, and South Dakota students outperformed their peers. The state’s mean score for both the verbal and math portions of the test was 589. National mean scores for verbal and math respectively were 508 and 520.

“Each year, we have a small number of South Dakota students that take the SAT, and they consistently perform well,” said Dr. Rick Melmer, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education.

Only 5 percent of the state’s 2005 graduating seniors took the SAT. A much larger group – 76 percent – took the ACT, another widely used college entrance exam.

While South Dakota’s scores dropped slightly from the previous year, they have seen a positive increase in the last 10 years. The state’s verbal mean score has risen 10 points since 1995, and its math score has risen 13 points. During that same time period, the national verbal score went from 504 to 508. The national math score went from 506 to 520.

South Dakota students who took the SAT reported taking an average of 4.0 years of math courses, 3.9 of natural sciences, 4.0 of English and 2.7 of foreign and classical languages. The percent who reported aspiring to a bachelor’s degree or higher was 80 percent. The three universities that received the most SAT scores from South Dakota test takers were the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota.