By Dr. Brian Ray

The Context

Just over 1.6 million college-bound seniors took the SAT test in 2014. Many observers of the homeschool movement wonder, “Does anyone know how homeschool students perform on this test?” For the first time in several years, College Board, the publisher of the SAT, released homeschool students’ test scores, and they did so to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI). The results were released by NHERI on June 7, 2016. [note 1]
“The SAT (formerly known as the SAT I: Reasoning Test) assesses student reasoning based on knowledge and skills developed by the students in their course work. The SAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT II: Subject Tests) are a series of one-hour, mostly multiple-choice tests that measure how much students know about a particular academic subject and how well they can apply that knowledge.” [note 2] References to the mean are to the arithmetic mean. Finally, the SAT program refers to the scaled score and this score ranges from 200 to 800 points for each subtest.

The SAT 2014 test scores of college-bound homeschool students were higher than the national average of all college-bound seniors that same year. [note 3]  Some 13,549 homeschool seniors had the following mean scores: 567 in critical reading, 521 in mathematics, and 535 in writing (College Board, 2014a). The mean SAT scores for all college-bound seniors in 2014 were 497 in critical reading, 513 in mathematics, and 487 in writing (College Board, 2014b). The homeschool students’ SAT scores were 0.61 standard deviation higher in reading, 0.26 standard deviation higher in mathematics, and 0.42 standard deviation higher in writing than those of all college-bound seniors taking the SAT, and these are notably large differences.

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