A Look at the Class of 1997

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Along with SAT scores, the College Board has also released results from a survey of college-bound high school seniors who took the entrance exam this year. Among the findings in the 1997 Profile of College-Bound Seniors:

  • There is evidence of grade inflation across the curriculum. This year's grade average for college-bound SAT takers was 3.22 on a 4-point scale, with an A equal to 4. The average in 1987 was 3.07.
  • Nineteen percent of those SAT takers said they planned to major in a health-related field, more than any other category. The proportion of college-bound seniors planning to major in business dropped from 23 percent in 1987 to 13 percent.
  • Education was listed as the major of choice among 9 percent of the students, compared with 6 percent a decade ago.
  • Students are growing more ambitious academically. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said they planned to obtain either a doctoral degree or a master's degree, compared with 43 percent a decade ago.
  • The percentage of college-bound SAT takers who are female has risen slightly over the past decade, from 52 percent in 1987 to 54 percent this year.

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