University median SAT score increases 20 points
Posted September 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm in News
Though national SAT scores were the lowest on record this year, according to College Board, USCâs median scores for the incoming freshman class rose 20 points, making the middle 50 percent of scores between 1970 and 2180, according to the Freshman Profile and Admission Information 2011-2012.
The national average for the SAT was 1500, down six points from last year.
The downward trend affected each section of the SAT test, with averages dropping three points in reading, one point in math and two in writing. Critical reading scores were the lowest on record.
Dean of Admission Timothy Brunold said the drop in scores might be attributed to a decreased emphasis on SAT scores in the college admissions process, including at USC.
âTest scores are neither the primary quantitative factor we consider, nor are they the most predictive quantitative factor used,â Brunold said.
Michael Fox, a senior majoring in international relations, said SATs are a good tool for comparing students, but should not be the determining factor of admissions.
âFor someone who is aspiring to be something, a test is an objective way of placing you against your peer but at the end of the day, it is just a number,â Fox said.
Brunold said any increase in the universityâs median SAT score was incidental.
âEach year we donât specifically set out to increase the average SAT score of the incoming class, but these constant increases are primarily a reflection of USCâs ability to attract very capable students,â Brunold said.
Brunold said a strong high school grade point average and extracurriculars are a more accurate predictor of success for admitted students.
âOur studies confirm that test score results can help us predict how a student might perform academically at USC,â Brunold said. âBut they are most valid when used with many other factors, most notably high school [GPA] and strength of high school.â
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the middle 50 percent SAT range of the enrolled freshman class was between 1750 and 2100. The actual range is between 1970 and 2180.