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University Entrance Exam Scores

Description: 

Innovation requires the steady input of human capital into the workforce and into institutions of higher learning. The performance on entrance exam scores of entering university students is a measure of the quality of students that are being attracted to the state’s universities. Students applying for university admission may submit entrance exam test scores from either or both of two tests: SAT and ACT. This indicator presents the SAT scores and ACT scores of students entering the three state universities. Since the source of the data, the National Center for Education Statistics, does not report either the mean or median score, an average of the scores at the 25th and 75th percentiles was calculated.

The estimated SAT and ACT scores for each of the three universities as a percentage of the national average of all test takers are shown on Arizona Indicators. The SAT score is the sum of the critical reading and mathematics scores; the ACT score is the composite of the scores on four subjects: English, mathematics, reading, and science.

Data Source: 

The scores by university are available from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/, available in the “Admissions” section. The data are for admissions in the fall of the year (for example, fall 2011 data correspond to the 2011-12 academic year). The data are slow to be released.

The national average for the ACT is available at http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/. Select National, then “National and State ACT Profile Reports.” From the ACT Profile Report – National, take the composite score from Table 1.3 (Five-Year Trends – Average ACT Scores nationwide). The national average for the SAT is available at http://research.collegeboard.org/programs/sat/data. Select “College-Bound Seniors” then on “Total Group Report.” Add the critical reading (CR) and mathematics (M) mean SAT scores for all schools. The ACT and SAT data are for the class graduating in the spring of each year. These scores are compared to the university admissions scores for the fall of the same year.

Data Quality Comments: 

The data are estimates from the scores at the 25th and 75th percentiles; the data for Arizona State University include only the main campus in Tempe.

iconExam Scores for Entering Freshman at Arizona Universities as a Percentage of the National Average of All Test Takers

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Visualization Notes:

Exam scores for entering freshman have been above the national average of all test takers at each of Arizona’s three public universities, except during the mid-2000s at Northern Arizona University on the SAT. The scores historically were lowest at Northern Arizona University and highest at the University of Arizona, but in 2011 and 2012 Arizona State University matched the University of Arizona on the ACT and had higher scores on the SAT. The ASU scores rose further in 2013, with scores on both tests higher than those of the University of Arizona.

Data Source

The scores by university are available from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/, available in the “Admissions” section. The data are for admissions in the fall of the year (for example, fall 2011 data correspond to the 2011-12 academic year). The data are slow to be released.

The national average for the ACT is available at http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/. Select National, then “National and State ACT Profile Reports.” From the ACT Profile Report – National, take the composite score from Table 1.3 (Five-Year Trends – Average ACT Scores nationwide). The national average for the SAT is available at http://research.collegeboard.org/programs/sat/data. Select “College-Bound Seniors” then on “Total Group Report.” Add the critical reading (CR) and mathematics (M) mean SAT scores for all schools. The ACT and SAT data are for the class graduating in the spring of each year. These scores are compared to the university admissions scores for the fall of the same year.