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The Black-White SAT Score Gap Increases with Education Level

Meng Hu

Published: 2024/06/01


This study investigates whether the magnitude of the Black-White difference in average SAT scores decreases as parental education increases, consistent with the prediction of the environmental hypotheses. Based on various datasets (BPS, NPSAS:UG, ELS:02, NELS:88) quite the opposite was found. The differences magnify as parental education increases, and this pattern is consistent across datasets. These findings corroborate earlier findings about the larger Black-White IQ gap observed with higher levels of parental education. Another finding of interest is that both Asian and White students with poorly educated parents (high school only or no high school) often achieve higher SAT scores than Black students with highly educated parents (advanced degree or doctoral degree). Possible factors are discussed. The pattern of an increasing Black-White gap is still unclear. Keywords: Cognitive test, Scholastic achievement test, Race differences

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