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September 19, 2011


As the SAT scores of the incoming class of college students nationwide are declining, the University of Maine at Fort Kent is bucking the national trend by enrolling first-year students with SAT scores on the rise.

Since 2010, students’ critical reading and writing scores at all schools, nationwide, have experienced a three-point decline. The reading and writing scores at public schools was more pronounced, declining by six points. 
During the same time period, first-time students entering UMFK exhibited a three percentage increase in SAT scores for critical reading and writing.
In 2010, UMFK’s entering class of first year students had a composite reading/writing score of 886. The composite score for the incoming class this year is 914; a 3.1 percent increase.
The College Board, the national organization of which administers the SAT test, has played down the falling scores, and has attributed the decline to an increase in the test-taking public. The SAT writing score has gradually been falling since it was introduced in 2006.
The trend in recent years has been a point up in one part of the SAT, offset by a point down in another part -- with minimal movement in total. This year saw a three-point decline in critical reading, a one-point decline in mathematics, and a two-point decline in writing.
For the reading and mathematics tests, which have been around a lot longer, the combined score of 1,011 is the lowest total since 1995. Since 1995, those two scores, combined, have reached as high as 1,028.
The SAT is a standard measure of college readiness used at four-year colleges and universities throughout the United States. The SAT measures reading, mathematics, and writing skills that students have acquired during their high school education.