News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott Releases 2011 SAT and AP Scores for New York City Students


On Advanced Placement Exams, Gains in Participation and Performance Continue, with Biggest Improvement Among Black Students

As Participation Soars on SAT, City Students Outpace Nation and Rest of State in All Three Subjects

Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced New York City’s results on the 2011 SATs and Advanced Placement (AP) exams, released on Wednesday by the College Board for the entire nation and every state. While a sharp increase in SAT participation led to a decline in scores nationwide, New York City students held steady in math, and dropped one point each in reading and writing—compared with national declines of four points in math, three points in writing, and three points in reading. City students also outpaced the rest of New York State, which saw decreases of six points in writing, five points in math, and two points in reading. Overall, 45,568 college-bound seniors in New York City took the SATs, an increase of 10.2 percent over last year.

On AP exams, participation for New York City students increased by 6.9 percent, to 29,767, with increases across all ethnicities. At the same time, the number of students who scored a passing grade of 3, 4, or 5 also jumped, with the largest gains made among black students, who improved their performance by 12.7 percent. In the last five years in New York City, participation on AP exams has increased by more than 31 percent, while passing rates have climbed 31.5 percent. Black and Hispanic students have led the way, contributing to a greater number of students completing college-level work during high school.

“The more our students are exposed to college-level tests and courses, the better prepared they will be for life after high school,” said Chancellor Walcott. “In a year when so many students took these tests for the first time, I’m proud of their impressive gains on the APs and steady performance on the SATs—defying some of the trends we saw nationwide.”

This week, the College Board also released the results of its PSAT exams, taken by high school sophomores and juniors. Data shows that students who take the PSAT score nearly 100 points higher on the SAT than students who do not; and since 2007, the City has offered the PSAT, free of charge, during the school day to all sophomores and juniors. In the past year, 60,447 sophomores, and 53,025 juniors, took the PSAT—increases of .6 percent and .5 percent, respectively. New York City sophomores improved by .1 point in math, while decreasing by .1 point in reading and .5 points in writing; juniors decreased by .4 points in writing, while improving .1 point in reading and .6 points in math.

In addition to subsidizing the PSAT for students, New York City has taken a number of steps in recent years to increase access to and performance on the SAT and AP exams. Thousands of students last year took a free, online SAT preparation course offered in a partnership between New York City and the College Board. This year, the City’s Progress Reports will report “college readiness” metrics for each high school that will include, among other measures, a “College Prep Course Index” and a “College Readiness Index.” The two categories will give points to schools based on what percentage of students have taken and passed an AP exam, and how many have met basic standards in the City University of New York (CUNY) college system, including a minimum score on the SAT.

For more detailed information on how New York City students performed this year on the SAT, AP and PSAT exams in 2011, please visit: