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Blacks Closing Racial Gap on S.A.T.

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Black students further closed the achievement gap with white students on the 1983-1984 Scholastic Aptitude Test, but their test results still remain far below national averages, according to figures released last week by the test's sponsor, the College Board.

Blacks constitute about 7 percent of the 1 million college-bound high-school students who take the sat annually, according to the report, College Bound Seniors, 1984.

The report said the 71,174 black students taking the 1983-84 test raised their mean verbal score to 342, up 3 points over the previous year's level. That figure remained 84 points below the national mean of 426, however.

The mean mathematics score for blacks in 1983-84 increased to 373, up 4 points from the previous year. But blacks still trailed by about 100 points the national mean of 471.

The increases in the latest mean verbal and mathematics scores for black students outpaced those for whites, who raised their mean verbal score 2 points to 445 and their mathematics score 3 points to 487 in 1983-84.

Closing the Gap

In 1976, the first year that statistics were available by race, blacks trailed whites in combined mathematics and verbal sat scores by 258 points.

Over the past nine years, the gap has been cut to 217 points. Blacks have raised their verbal score by 10 points and their mathematics score by 19 points since 1976, while white scores have declined by 6 points on both sections.

Other Minority Groups

By and large, other minority groups also increased their average scores in 1983-84, the College Board reported:

American Indians increased both their mean verbal and their mean mathematics scores by 2 points to 390 and 427, respectively.

Asian Americans, who outscore all ethnic groups on the mathematics test, raised their performance in that area by 5 points to 519. Their mean verbal score rose by 3 points to 398.

Mexican-Americans increased their mean verbal score by 1 point to 376 and their mean mathematics score by 3 points to 420.

Puerto-Ricans in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico made no gain over last year's mean verbal score of 358 but raised their mathematics score by 2 points to 405.--sr

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