Math

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Math

  1. 1. PURPOSE<br />The purpose of this study is to determine if there are any differences in Mathematic and Critical Reading SAT scores between male and female high school seniors. <br />DATA <br />The data used in this study was obtained from the College Board website. In particularly, it is Table 144 from the College Entrance Examination Board, College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile (National) Report. Table 144 is titled SAT Mean Scores of College-Bound Seniors, by Sex: 1966-67 through 2008-09. The table contains the SAT Critical Reading and Math Scores for college-bound seniors broken out by gender; male and female. The table also contains four years of SAT writing scores but there is not enough data points to be statistically reliable.<br />The table shown below has been modified from the original table to include the reading score differences and the math score differences. The differences were calculated by subtracting the female student scores from the male student scores.<br />Table 144. SAT Mean Scores of College-Bound Seniors, by Sex: 1966-67 through 2008-09 SAT SCORES Critical Reading ScoreMathematics ScoreSchool yearTotalMaleFemaleReading Score DifferenceTotalMaleFemaleMath Score Difference1966-67543540545-5516535495401967-68543541543-2516533497361968-69540536543-7517534498361969-70537536538-2512531493381970-71532531534-3513529494351971-725305315292509527489381972-735235235212506525489361973-745215245204505524488361974-755125155096498518479391975-765095115083497520475451976-775075095054496520474461977-785075115038494517474431978-795055095018493516473431979-805025064988492515473421980-8150250849612492516473431981-8250450949910493516473431982-8350350849810494516474421983-8450451149813497518478401984-8550951450311500522480421985-8650951550411500523479441986-8750751250210501523481421987-8850551249913501521483381988-8950451049812502523482411989-905005054969501521483381990-914995034958500520482381991-925005044968501521484371992-935005044977503524484401993-944995014974504523487361994-955045055023506525490351995-965055075034508527492351996-975055075034511530494361997-985055095027512531496351998-995055095027511531495361999-20005055075043514533498352000-015065095027514533498352001-025045075025516534500342002-035075125039519537503342003-045085125048518537501362004-055085135058520538504342005-065035055023518536502342006-075025045022515533499342007-085025045004515533500332008-09501503498551553449935†Not applicable.SOURCE: College Entrance Examination Board, College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile [National] Report, 1966-67 through 2008-09, retrieved August 25, 2009, from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat/cb-seniors-2009. (This table was prepared August 2009.) <br />DATA ANALYSIS<br />The data has been analyzed in multiple ways to identify any possible relations. The first step was to chart the critical reading scores of male and female students. The chart shows that male and female students were quite close in scores from 1966 through 1975. After 1975 the male students have had higher scores.<br />Chart 1. SAT Critical Reading Scores for Male and Female High School Seniors<br />The second step was to chart the math scores of male and female students. The chart shows that male students have consistently scored higher than female students.<br />Chart 2. SAT Mathematic Scores for Male and Female High School Seniors<br />The magnitude of difference in scores varies between the critical reading and the mathematics SAT tests as shown on Chart 3. The mathematic score median difference was 37 units compared to the critical reading median difference of 7 units. The standard deviation for both sets of score differences are similar, with a value of 3.57 for mathematics and 3.22 for critical reading. <br />Mathematics Score Difference Statistics Standard Deviation3.57Median37.0Average38.1<br />Critical Reading Score Difference Statistics Standard Deviation3.22Median7.0Average7.0<br />Chart 3. SAT Score Differences Between Male and Female High School Seniors<br />Chart 4 shows a linear relationship between the mathematic SAT scores between male and female students. The data scatter is moderately well aligned with a coefficient of correlation R2 of 0.9469. This is to be expected given the relatively small standard deviation of the score differences.<br />Chart 4. SAT Mathematic Scores - Male versus Female Senior High School Students <br />Chart 5 shows a linear relationship between the critical reading SAT scores between male and female students. The data scatter also shows a moderately well aligned with a high coefficient of correlation R2 of 0.9327. Again, this is to be expected given the relatively small standard deviation of the score differences.<br />Chart 5. Critical Reading Scores - Male versus Female Senior High School Students<br />CONCLUSIONS - REASONS FOR DIFFERENCES IN SAT SCORES<br />The data used in this study shows that from the school year 1966-67 through 2008-09, senior male high school students consistently had higher critical reading and math SAT scores than their female counterparts. The magnitude of difference is significantly higher for the mathematics SAT test with a median difference of 37 points versus the critical reading SAT scores. In critical reading, male students median point difference drops to 7 points. <br />Many reasons can be offered to explain the SAT score differences between male and female high school students. Some of these reasons are that the SAT is biased against female students and male students have higher academic capabilities. The likely reason for the difference is scores, particularly mathematics, is that male students are driven more toward technological fields compared to female students. In addition, parents and the media seem to reinforce the idea that female students are weaker in mathematics than male students. In many cases, expectations by school teachers also reinforce this attitude.<br />

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