The reading score is at a low not seen since 1972.

Inside Higher Ed reports.

SAT Scores Drop and Racial Gaps Remain Large

SAT scores dropped significantly for the class of college-bound seniors this year. All three sections saw declines — and the numbers were down for male and female students alike.

At the same time, SAT scores showed continued patterns in which white and Asian students, on average, receive higher scores than do black and Latino students. And, as has been the case for years, students from wealthier families score better than do those from disadvantaged families. These and other figures — including new data on Advanced Placement participation — are being released today by the College Board.

Over all, scores dropped two points on critical reading, two points on mathematics and three points on writing. The seven-point decline across all three sections compares to a one-point decline the prior year, and no change the year before that.

Here are the figures for the last five years:

SAT Averages
Year Critical Reading Mathematics Writing
2011 497 514 489
2012 496 514 488
2013 496 514 488
2014 497 513 487
2015 495 511 484

The reading score has not been so low as far back as the College Board’s annual report, which dates to 1972. The mathematics score hasn’t been this low since 1999. And the writing score is the lowest since that portion of the test was created in 2006.