SATs: Students Score Big

Learning Activity

Aired August 27, 2003

The nation's high school class of 2003 achieved the best score on the math section of the SAT exam in at least 36 years, while students' verbal scores hit a 16-year high. Learn about the standardized tests that students in their state take during grades K-12 and create a brochure for students with tips on how to do well on standardized tests.

Ask students: What are standardized tests? Why are they used? Following the discussion, direct student groups to their school counselor and online resources to identify the standardized tests that students in their state take during grades K-12, including college prep tests. Then, have each group conduct research to learn about one or more of these tests. Pose the following questions to guide students' research:

1. How are the tests developed?

2. Are they fair to all segments of America's diverse student population?

3. How are the results used?

4. How can these tests be helpful to students, parents and teachers?

5. How can these tests be helpful to education decision makers and taxpayers?


After groups present their findings, have students create a brochure for their peers with tips on how to do well on standardized tests.

Correlated Standards

Standards for the English Language Arts (NCTE and IRA)

Standard 7: Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

Standard 8: Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

The Standards for the English Language Arts ( are published by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) ( in partnership with the International Reading Association (IRA).

Technology Foundation Standards for All Students

Standard 1: Technology research tools

• Students use technology to locate, evaluate and collect information from a variety of sources.

• Students use technology tools to process data and report results.

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Students (, published by the International Society for Technology in Education (

Related Links: Math SAT scores reach 36-year high ( Analysis: Some students not ready for college math (

U.S. Department of Education (, Inc. (

The ACT Assessment, Inc. (

Commonly Asked Questions About Standardized Tests (


SAT, standardized tests, College Board, math, test scores

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