Catholic Schools Outperform Public Schools on the New 2016 SAT Subject Tests  

Catholic schools repeatedly display academic excellence in national testing 

Arlington, VA – The College Board SAT Subject Tests scores show that religiously affiliated schools, which include Catholic schools, scored significantly higher than the national mean for public schools on the new version of the SAT.  The SAT Program uses a 200–800-point scale in three categories: math, reading and writing. 

Religiously affiliated students had a mean score of 532 in math, 537 in reading and 525 in writing compared to the public school mean score of 487 in math, 494 in reading and 472 in writing. The national mean score is 494 for math, 508 for reading and 482 for writing. 

Catholic schools comprise 22.3 percent of private schools, yet enroll 42.9 percent of the private school population.  More than 46 percent of private schools are other religious schools enrolling 37.3 percent of the students in nonpublic schools.  

“Catholic schools work,” said NCEA President/CEO Thomas W. Burnford, D.Min. “These scores show that students in Catholic schools demonstrate higher academic achievement than similar students in district-run schools.”  

The SAT assesses students’ reasoning based on knowledge and skills developed by students in their course work.  The series of one-hour, mostly multiple-choice, tests measure how much students know about a particular academic subject and how well they can apply that knowledge. This year, the College Board introduced a new version of the test. The full report is available HERE


 Rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) is a professional membership organization that assists its members to fulfill their teaching mission of the Church and to lead, learn and proclaim the good news of Catholic school education.